Commonwealth ‘more relevant than ever’ – CGF President

THE Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President, Louise Martin CBE declared the Commonwealth ‘more relevant than ever before’ as she spoke to a global TV audience of 1.5 billion people at the opening of the XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia last night.

The Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games took place in a packed Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast, the host city for the XXI Commonwealth Games. Cheered on by a stadium audience of over 35,000, the ceremony welcomed and introduced the 4600 Commonwealth athletes ready to stake their claim on the global sporting stage.

Addressing the athletes, commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin CBE encouraged them to ‘grasp the opportunity, right here, right now’.

“Today, there is a renewed focus on what our family of nations stands for and who we are.  The Commonwealth is now more relevant than ever before,” she said.

“We have a great opportunity to be the global leader in demonstrating how we can successfully thrive together, as both a deeply diverse yet unified family of 2.4 billion people. It is this unbreakable Commonwealth connection that enables us to have a positive impact on each other and on the world we share.”

As part of a segment looking back on the epic journey of the Queen’s Baton Relay, the Queen’s Baton entered the stadium for its final moments – brought in to the stadium in a combi van by Australian multiple Commonwealth gold medallist swimmer Susie O’Neill before Athlete Sally Pearson AOM presented the baton to HRH Prince of Wales, who read aloud the message from Her Majesty The Queen contained within the baton to officially declare the Games open.

The ceremony drew strongly on Aboriginal, Indigenous and First Nations cultures – symbolic of the Games’ overarching commitment to reconciliation and inclusivity through sport. The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be the first major sporting event in Australia with a far-reaching Reconciliation Action Plan, co-created and supported by an Indigenous Working Group and the local Yugambeh Elders Advisory Group.

Gold Coast 2018 Chairman Peter Beattie AC said: “Our promise to all of you is that for the next eleven days we will be focussed on making sure these Games are special – leaving us all with fantastic memories of what happens when welcome together with open hearts and a spirit of friendship.”

In the Parade of Nations, Gold Coast 2018’s 71 nations and territories were walked out by ‘nippers’ – an Aussie institution, which sees young people learn all about teamwork, respect and sea and surf awareness and safety.  They walked out the athletes with their parent or guardian, carrying a surfboard bearing the country name.

The sporting competition for Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games begins today with 19 gold medals across 13 sports to be contested in 14 venues. More than one million tickets have been sold for the sporting spectacle – the largest sporting event to be held in Australia since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Source:  CGF Communications

Date: April 5 2018


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