Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council
23 May 2014  
University of Ulster alumni, Commonwealth Games Gold medal winning boxer Eamon O’Kane and Judo Silver medal winner Lisa Bradley, join UU Provost, Prof. Alastair Adair, in showing off the Queen’s Baton. 
After four wonderful days travelling throughout Northern Ireland, the Queen’s Baton Relay has ended another leg of its global journey at the University of Ulster campus in Belfast. A date that also marks two months to go till the Opening Ceremonies. Themed around People, Places and Performance, the trip has certainly whetted the appetite for the Commonwealth Games which will begin in Glasgow on 23rd July. 
Having already been to 66 countries on its 180,000km journey, the Baton was hosted by the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) and broadcast to a worldwide audience as it visited some of our most iconic tourist attractions including Parliament Buildings, the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-rede, Devenish Island and the Fermanagh Lakes, Titanic Belfast and the Nomadic. It also had the pleasure of rowing up the Foyle, beach volleyball in Portadown, bog snorkelling at Peatland Park and experiencing the hospitality at the G8 venue of the Lough Erne Resort. A visit to Rathlin Island proved a particular highlight of the trip. 
Chef de Mission, Robert McVeigh, stated the ‘the Queen’s Baton Relay acts as a call to competition for the athletes of the Commonwealth. But it also provides a great opportunity to showcase all that is positive about Northern Ireland. Following on from the recent Giro d’Italia, last year’s World Police & Fire Games and the many other high profile events being hosted locally, we are delighted to have delivered a very successful programme of activities which took in all six counties and engaged with a true cross section of our community. We look forward to their support during the Games.’ 
Conal Heatley, Executive Officer of the NICGC, added: ‘Credit must be paid to all those who have made the Baton’s visit such a success. Our own team, which consists primarily of volunteers, put in a huge amount of work over the last few months to ensure that things ran smoothly. We also received fantastic assistance from our sponsors, sports clubs, governing bodies, local authorities and the PSNI who were there at just about every turn to provide support.’ 
Following the departure of the Baton, Belfast will play host on Saturday to a delegation of primary school children from Dumfries & Galloway as part of the Glasgow 2014 ‘2nd Nation’ programme. They will compete against local children in eight sports, across three venues. Co-ordinated by the NICGC, this is being supported by Belfast City Council’s Support for Sport initiative. 
Watch highlights from the Northern Ireland leg of the QBR here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b044yyh2/the-queens-baton-relay-in-northern-ireland 
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