While last week witnessed the Queen’s Baton Relay passing through Northern Ireland, the Commonwealth Games focus shifted on Saturday as hundreds of athletes competed in eight sports across three Belfast venues. But there was a slight twist as these athletes were all primary school children taking part in the Glasgow 2014 ‘2nd Nation’ programme which has paired the region of Dumfries and Galloway (D&G) with Northern Ireland.
As part of the programme the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) took 25 teenage volunteers from the Craigavon area to Scotland last September to officiate at the D&G Active Games finals. These primary school games provided 40 children the opportunity to travel to Belfast on Friday to participate in the Queen’s Baton Relay before joining local children in a range of sporting activities on Saturday. They will also officially become the first Scottish children to be part of the Queen’s Baton Relay and to hold the baton.
Belfast City Council facilities were used at Andersonstown (swimming and netball), Shankill (boccia, gymnastics and badminton) and Mary Peters Track (athletics, rugby and cycling).
Calum Graham, Lead Officer Active Schools & Community Sport at D&G Council, expressed the feeling of the travelling delegation which included parents, young ambassadors, teachers and