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Sammy Heywood Okine

Sammy Heywood Okine

294-day route and innovative Baton design for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay revealed

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has unveiled details of the international route and the design of the Queen’s Baton for the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay. 

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a Games tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities from across Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will arrive in GHANA on Monday 25th October 2021, spending 2 days exploring the culture and community.

The Relay begins on 7 October 2021 at Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will place Her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton. The Baton then takes on an incredible 294-day journey through all nations and territories of the Commonwealth, arriving back in England in July 2022.

The Baton will travel an epic international route, spanning an impressive 269 days, spending between two and four days in each nation or territory, covering approximately 90,000 miles (140,000 kilometres), having over 7,500 Baton bearers trusted with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to carry the Baton.

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth yet will travel almost half the distance than the previous Gold Coast Queen’s Baton Relay in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint.

Over the course of the Relay, the Baton is set to spend Christmas Eve in the Seychelles, will bring in the New Year in the Maldives and plans to be in Jamaica over the Easter weekend.

Before arriving in GHANA, the Baton will have just visited SIERRA LEONE. After departing GHANA, the Baton will make its way to CAMEROON.

During each visit, nations and territories will host events and activities that showcase untold stories from Baton bearers, athletes, and young people who are striving for change in their community, as well as showcasing a project that addresses at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The global journey will conclude at the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony where the final Baton bearer will return the Baton to Her Majesty The Queen.

The President of Commonwealth Games Association of Ghana, Ben Nunoo Mensah said: “[The baton and its unique message strongly signifies the unity and diversity of the commonwealth nations and territories. This is an opportunity for many untold stories that carry weights and are overwhelming]”

The Baton

The Baton was conceived in an innovative West Midlands collaboration that fuses art, technology, and science. Product designers and engineers Raymont-Osman Product Design, design and development specialists Kajul, and artist Laura Nyahuye from MAOKWO each injected their creativity and expertise into the Baton. The technology within the Baton is the work of BOM (Birmingham Open Media), a leading centre for art, technology and science in central Birmingham, dedicated to ‘creative innovation with purpose’.

The Baton champions the individuality in humanity and celebrates bringing people together. It embodies the idea that every individual has distinctive lived experiences that are threaded together and woven into a collective tapestry of cultures. The Baton form is entwined with unique components and displays connectivity to represent the power of collaboration.

The Baton’s form

The shape of the Baton moves away from the traditional shape seen in previous editions of The Queen’s Baton. With Birmingham 2022 making history by being the first major multi-sport event to award more medals to women than men, the strength and fortitude of women across the Commonwealth is celebrated throughout the design of the Baton.

Lining the length of the Baton is a platinum strand, paying homage to The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year, as well as celebrating her role as the Head of the Commonwealth.

To represent the bronze, silver and gold medals that athletes will be competing for, the Baton has been cast using accessible, non-precious metals of copper, aluminium and brass. By using aluminium forged using the traditional method of lost wax casting in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, the Baton has used the centuries of local expertise and craftsmanship that gives Birmingham its reputation as the city of a thousand trades.

The Baton’s design

Etched onto a steel plaque on the top of the Baton is the Birmingham 2022 logo, a distinctive ‘B’ shape which is a visual representation of communities across the West Midlands. The mechanised chamber sitting beneath the brass leaf plaque will be opened at the Birmingham 2022 opening ceremony to reveal The Queen’s message.

The Commonwealth Games Federation logo is also visible on the Baton, an emblem that reflects the key values of humanity, equality and destiny.

As the Baton travels on its journey and tells stories from communities, the warm copper tones of the Baton will develop a mesmerising patina, a blue-green film that forms on the material after exposure, demonstrating how it will evolve in appearance as it is passed from Baton bearer to Baton bearer.

The Baton’s technology 

Enhanced with cutting-edge technologies, the Baton will capture data and stories from across the Commonwealth, shining a spotlight on grassroots innovation and celebrating the people driving change within their communities. The Baton features LED lighting and a heartrate sensor that display the heartbeats of Baton bearers. The lighting also changes when two people grip the Baton during handover, celebrating collaboration and the sharing of wisdom between young and old. In a time where human contact has been limited, the Baton addresses how connections matter more than ever.

As well as an illuminated heartbeat, the Baton also has ‘lungs’, consisting of atmospheric sensors with laser technology that analyses the environmental conditions wherever it is in the world. Augmented Reality (AR) will be used to creatively visualise the data captured throughout the journey to invite more awareness of and conversations around air quality across the Commonwealth. The data will contribute to the ongoing research projects being conducted by atmospheric scientist Professor Francis Pope and his team at the University of Birmingham.

Fitted with a 360-degree camera, the Baton also has ‘eyes’, and a ‘brain’ which records and transmits imagery and digital information, allowing stories from Commonwealth communities to be told. GPS technology allows the Baton to be tracked on its travels.

The team of creators were photographed with the Baton on the balcony of the offices of PwC, the Official Supplier of Professional Advisory Services for Birmingham 2022, which overlooks the iconic Birmingham landmarks of Centenary Square and the Library of Birmingham.

Martin Green, Chief Creative Officer at Birmingham 2022, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is a special tradition for the Games and a fantastic opportunity to connect the Commonwealth as we countdown to Birmingham 2022. Unveiling the Baton and its international journey is an exciting milestone for us, as we’re just days away from the official launch of the Relay.

“The Baton is the stunning result of art, traditional craftmanship and innovative technology, all designed and made right here in the West Midlands, and I can’t wait to see it embark on its epic journey where thousands of Baton bearers will interact with it. It will be visiting some wonderful places before arriving back here in Birmingham for the Opening Ceremony on 28 July 2022.”

Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is one of the most special aspects of the Commonwealth Games as it so vividly symbolises the friendship, respect and unity across our 72 nations and territories.

“When Her Majesty The Queen places Her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton at Buckingham Palace next week, it will start a spectacular 294-day journey that will begin the final countdown to the Opening Ceremony.

“I know that communities across the Commonwealth will be so excited to see the Baton as it passes through their own villages, towns and cities.

“I hope that as many Commonwealth citizens as possible can be part of the Relay so that they can experience the true magic of the Commonwealth Games.”

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will see 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories taking part in 11 days of spectacular sport, from 28 July – 8 August 2022.

For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit birmingham2022.com/QBR

Full schedule of the Queen’s Baton Relay international route:

Nation / Territory  Arrival date

  1. Cyprus 9 October 2021
  2. Malta 12 October 2021
  3. Nigeria 16 October 2021
  4. The Gambia 20 October 2021
  5. Sierra Leone 23 October 2021
  6. Ghana 26 October 2021
  7. Cameroon 29 October 2021
  8. Kenya 2 November 2021
  9. Uganda 5 November 2021
  10. Rwanda 10 November 2021
  11. Tanzania 13 November 2021
  12. Malawi 17 November 2021
  13. Zambia 20 November 2021
  14. Mozambique 23 November 2021
  15. Mauritius 27 November 2021
  16. Botswana 30 November 2021
  17. St. Helena 5 December 2021
  18. South Africa 8 December 2021
  19. Namibia 14 December 2021
  20. Eswatini 17 December 2021
  21. Lesotho 20 December 2021
  22. Seychelles 23 December 2021
  23. Pakistan 27 December 2021
  24. Maldives 1 January 2022
  25. Sri Lanka 4 January 2022
  26. Bangladesh 7 January 2022
  27. India 12 January 2022
  28. Singapore 17 January 2022
  29. Malaysia 22 January 2022
  30. Brunei 26 January 2022
  31. Papua New Guinea 30 January 2022
  32. Solomon Islands 2 February 2022
  33. Nauru 5 February 2022
  34. Fiji 13 February 2022
  35. Samoa 16 February 2022
  36. Tonga 19 February 2022
  37. Vanuatu 22 February 2022
  38. Kiribati 25 February 2022
  39. Tuvalu 28 February 2022
  40. Niue 3 March 2022
  41. Cook Islands 6 March 2022
  42. Norfolk Island 9 March 2022
  43. New Zealand 12 March 2022
  44. Australia 17 March 2022
  45. Belize 23 March 2022
  46. Guyana 26 March 2022
  47. Grenada 30 March 2022
  48. The Bahamas 3 April 2022
  49. Turks & Caicos 7 April 2022
  50. Cayman Islands 12 April 2022
  51. Jamaica 15 April 2022
  52. Trinidad & Tobago 19 April 2022
  53. Barbados 23 April 2022
  54. Montserrat 26 April 2022
  55. Dominica 29 April 2022
  56. British Virgin Islands 3 May 2022
  57. St. Kitts & Nevis 6 May 2022
  58. Anguilla 9 May 2022
  59. Antigua & Barbuda 13 May 2022
  60. St. Lucia 16 May 2022
  61. St. Vincent & The Grenadines 19 May 2022
  62. Bermuda 22 May 2022
  63. Canada 26 May 2022
  64. Gibraltar 31 May 2022
  65. Falkland Islands 7 June 2022
  66. Jersey 10 June 2022
  67. Guernsey 13 June 2022
  68. Isle of Man 16 June 2022
  69. Scotland 18 June 2022
  70. Northern Ireland 24 June 2022
  71. Wales 29 June 2022
  72. England 4 July 2022

About the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a Games tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities from across Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.

Birmingham 2022 is staging the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – an epic journey across the Commonwealth, with The Queen’s Baton visiting all 72 nations and territories, reaching Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean and the Americas.

The Relay will begin on 7 October 2021 at a special event at Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will place Her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton.

The Baton will travel for 294 days, visiting all 72 nations and territories and connecting communities in every corner of the Commonwealth, embracing unique cultures and sharing stories.

This collective journey will ignite hope, solidarity and collaboration for the next generation, with these stories leaving us all inspired to take on the challenges that matter most to us.

For more information, visit birmingham2022.com/qbr

About the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games  

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city, the region, and its people on the global stage.     

The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration.     

Birmingham 2022 will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022.   

Find out more at www.birmingham2022.com

 

 

Ghana’s Farida Iddriss has attended the meeting of  FINA’s Reform Committee meeting in Lausanne.

The FINA Reform Committee finalised their discussions on a series of strategic recommendations, which have been developed to modernise FINA, the world governing body for aquatic sports, and take its six disciplines into a new era.

The Reform Committee, announced by FINA President Captain Husain Al-Musallam on his election day, 5 June, assessed potential changes to FINA and provide strategic recommendations on a variety of areas including governance, communication, marketing, gender equity, events, athlete safeguarding, sport medicine and sport development.

The Reform Committee which is chaired by Mr. Francois Carrard presented the outcome of months of hard work from the various sub-Committees at the FINA Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) over a two-day meeting on October 4-5, 2021.

During the meeting, different areas were discussed and major measures to be implemented were identified. The whole business model of FINA has been broken down and concrete recommendations were proposed following the conclusion of the extensive assessment.

 “Today marks an important milestone for FINA towards the reinforcement of its commitment to authenticity, transparency and reform. The Reform Committee reached a consensus on several key measures to be adopted as part of the change led by FINA President Al-Musallam,” said Francois Carrard. “The recommendations will be presented by the Reform Committee at the upcoming FINA Congress. They will enhance the current business model of FINA and lead to a more contemporary and transparent governing body.”

Reform Committee member, former World champion and athletes representative Britta Kamrau said: “After months of study, the Reform Committee has done a great service to FINA by laying out the path towards the reforms. Now FINA must implement these sustainable changes and build a stronger organisation for the future to better serve its athletes.”

The outcome of the meeting will be presented to the FINA members on the occasion of the FINA World Swimming Championship (25m) and the Aquatics Festival in Abu Dhabi (UAE) from December 16-21.

Farida Iddriss was a member of Ghana’s team that organised the CANA Zone 2 championship in 2020. She is now a member of the Local Organising Committee LOC for the upcoming 14th Junior and Senior Swimming and Open water championships to be hosted in Ghana.

From Sammy Heywood Okine

 

Award winning promoters, Cabic Promotions will stage the Big Fight Night involving Emmanuel Quaye and Boateng Agyeman for the National Middleweight Championship at The Idrowhyt events center at Akuko Foto, Dansoman on Saturday, October 9th 2021.

The bill will feature exciting boxers like Felix Nunoo, Emmanuel Quartey, Kpakpo Allotey, Lesko Sossiya Eric Awogah and others who will weigh on Friday.

President of Cabic Promotions, Mr. Ivan Bruce Cudjoe said at the media briefing to usher in the bill that they are in the game for business and encouraged corporate Ghana to support boxing.

He also called on the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) to display all vacant titles, and allow boxers to challenge themselves for the public to know the best boxers in the nation.

The GBA President, Mr. Abram Neequaye has also promised to sanction good bouts, as he wants clean and exciting bouts.

Emmanuel Quaye, the new face of Cabic Promotions has promised to give off his best as he has learnt new skills under coach Ofori Asare.

He told Yours Truly, he can not let the fine opportunity to become a national champion slip by.

Marketing manager of Cabic Promotions, Jingles said they are adding value to boxing in Ghana, and guests will have much to appreciate at the event.

He said the next event at Idrowhyt Events Center will be very entertaining and invited companies and friends to buy tables to wine and dine as they watch classic boxing.

Gate fee are from 30ghc, 50ghc, 100ghc to 200ghc for the regular to VIP and VVIP ring side respectively.

By Sammy Heywood Okine

Ghana will host the first joint age category event in the world which is Junior and Senior African Swimming championship, involving 42 countries participating with 420 swimmers.

The event starts from 11-17 October ,2021 for swimming at the Trust Sport Emporium (Bukom Boxing Arena) in Accra and on 17th October, 2021 at Akosombo for Open Water Swimming competition.

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) has called on Ghanaian companies to support the event.

The public has been invited to watch the swimming stars on the continent of Africa.

By Sammy Heywood Okine

The FINA Reform Committee has finalised their discussions on a series of strategic recommendations, which have been developed to modernise FINA, the world governing body for aquatic sports, and take its six disciplines into a new era.

The Reform Committee, announced by FINA President Captain Husain Al-Musallam on his election day, 5 June, was formed to assess potential changes to FINA and provide strategic recommendations on a variety of areas including governance, communication, marketing, gender equity, events, athlete safeguarding, sport medicine and sport development.

The Reform Committee, chaired by Mr. Francois Carrard, presented the outcome of months of hard work from the various sub-Committees at the FINA Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) over a two-day meeting on October 4-5. During the meeting, different areas were discussed and major measures to be implemented were identified. The whole business model of FINA has been broken down and concrete recommendations were proposed following the conclusion of the extensive assessment.

 “Today marks an important milestone for FINA towards the reinforcement of its commitment to authenticity, transparency and reform. The Reform Committee reached a consensus on several key measures to be adopted as part of the change led by FINA President Al-Musallam,” said Francois Carrard. “The recommendations will be presented by the Reform Committee at the upcoming FINA Congress. They will enhance the current business model of FINA and lead to a more contemporary and transparent governing body.”

To conclude the productive meeting in Lausanne, Reform Committee member, former World champion and athletes representative Britta Kamrau said: “After months of study, the Reform Committee has done a great service to FINA by laying out the path towards the reforms. Now FINA must implement these sustainable changes and build a stronger organisation for the future to better serve its athletes.”

The outcome of the meeting with suggested areas of reform will be presented to the FINA members on the occasion of the FINA World Swimming Championship (25m) and the Aquatics Festival in Abu Dhabi (UAE) from December 16-21.

Source: FINA

President of the Accra Academy Old Boy's Association(AAOBA),Mr Kofi Amoa-Awuah  has urged final year students to attain higher levels of education and contribute to the growth of the country.

Speaking at the Induction of Final Year Students into AAOBA as part of activities to mark the school's 90th Anniversary celebration, he said, it was important to pursue higher academic laurels in Ghana and beyond and contribute their quota to national development.

"Completing Senior High School(SHS) is just the beginning of the academic journey as there are more to learn in order to become responsible citizens," he stated.

He urged students to be focused, tackle challenges in the world outside school and utilize opportunities available to become better.

"There are challenges outside the walls of the Accra Academy which students would face but must be strong and deal with them in order to get to the top," he stressed.

"Be passionate at all times and have the desire to solve problems in society instead of running away from challenges," he stressed.

He also asked them to commit themselves to the growth of the school after completion.

Chairperson for the occasion,Nii Odartey Blankson also advised final year students to be disciplined and find a purpose for life regardless of the results they would attain in the final examinations.

"Do not let your results define what you would become in future. Go beyond the results,have a vision for life and attain your potentials," he stated.

"Always network with classmates and be law abiding citizens of the country," he added.

On his part, Headmaster of Accra Academy,Mr Emmanuel Ofoe Fiemawhle said the students were trained to live an easier life after school.

Now that they have attained the Bleoobi(Old students of Accra Academy) status, he said, they must carry along the values they had been imbibed in them.

"Values of the school including, selflessness, self discipline, sacrifice, hard work, perseverance, success and excellence must lead at all times," he stated.

Caption: Mr Amoa-Awuah(left) performing  the induction ceremony

Source Mamedia Ventures

The MTN final invitational golf tournament comes off this Saturday at the Bok Nam Kim Golf Club at Burma Camp this Saturday. 9th October, 2021 and it is part of the silver jubilee celebrations of the biggest telecom company in Ghana.

The tournament will be hosted under the theme: "25years of Brightening Lives and Beyond"

At least 80 top golf players will compete for honours and prizes.

The play format is Stableford, and handicap allowance is open to players with official handicaps. Men (0 – 24) and Ladies (0 – 32).

All COVID 19 Protocols will be fully observed

By Sammy Heywood Okine

2023 Africa Games in Ghana is "My Games, Your Games, Our Games" - SWAG President Charges Sports Media

The Queen's Baton Relay has been an essential part of the Commonwealth Games for more than 60 years.

Typically, it takes more than a year to complete and provides a vital connection to all the nations and regions of the Commonwealth.

It has become the longest relay of its kind in the world.

The exact origins of the ritual are unclear, although it was introduced as a prelude to the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.

Athletics coach Bernard Baldwin, the founder of the legendary Nos Galan New Year's Eve race, had previously organised similar relays for Welsh national celebrations.

His idea of a similar event at the finale of the 1958 Games may well have been the inspiration for the Queen's Baton Relay.

A baton which featured the red dragon was designed in Cardiff and made in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, providing a pleasing link with the 2022 host city.

Birmingham was on the route for the first Relay which travelled by day and night to Cardiff.

The baton usually starts its journey at Buckingham Palace in London, but in 1970 Queen Elizabeth II sent her message to the athletes of Edinburgh from Canada's Northwest Territories.

In 1974, the Relay for Christchurch began from Sandringham, the Queen's residence in Norfolk.

From 1990 onwards, the Queen's Baton Relay has become ever more ambitious and in 2006 it visited all of the Commonwealth nations and territories for the first time en-route to Melbourne.

"We wanted as many hands as possible to touch it so that The Queen knows that in her family throughout the Commonwealth, as many people have the chance to touch it and see her message," Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin has said.

For the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in Australia, the Relay proved to be a magnificent odyssey over 388 days.

More than 8,000 bearers carried the baton over a distance of 230,000 kilometres.

Ms. Charlene Mills and Mr. Malcolm Hood from the British High Commission in Accra on Wednesday October 6 visited the Commonwealth Games Federation, Ghana to meet the Games Committee on preparations towards the Queen’s Baton Relay.

They discussed the route and personalities who would handle the Baton.

The Queen’s Baton will be in Ghana from October 25th to 28 and would be seen in places like Tema and Kumasi, the garden city.

President Nana Akufo Addo is going to be the first personality to hold the baton when it lands in Ghana.

Present at the meeting were Messers Ben Nunoo Mensah, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Ghana, Fred Lartey Otu, Chairman of the Games Committee, Isaac Aboagye Duah, Melvin Brown, Hayye Yartey, Mohammed Mahadi and Mrs. Delphina Quaye.

The Queen's Baton Relay has been an essential part of the Commonwealth Games for more than 60 years.

Typically, it takes more than a year to complete and provides a vital connection to all the nations and regions of the Commonwealth.

It has become the longest relay of its kind in the world.

The exact origins of the ritual are unclear, although it was introduced as a prelude to the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.

The baton usually starts its journey at Buckingham Palace in London, but in 1970 Queen Elizabeth II sent her message to the athletes of Edinburgh from Canada's Northwest Territories.

In 1974, the Relay for Christchurch began from Sandringham, the Queen's residence in Norfolk.

From 1990 onwards, the Queen's Baton Relay has become ever more ambitious and in 2006 it visited all of the Commonwealth nations and territories for the first time en-route to Melbourne.

"We wanted as many hands as possible to touch it so that The Queen knows that in her family throughout the Commonwealth, as many people have the chance to touch it and see her message," Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin has said.

For the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in Australia, the Relay proved to be a magnificent odyssey over 388 days.

More than 8,000 bearers carried the baton over a distance of 230,000 kilometres.

Birmingham is the venue for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Source CFG

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