Queen's Baton Relay: connecting communities?
The Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) is a unique and iconic element of the Commonwealth Games. Symbolically, it signifies the unity and shared ideals of the Commonwealth Nations and its journey enables communities beyond the Host City to share in the Games celebrations. Since the Melbourne Games in 2006 the Baton has travelled across all competing nations in the lead up to the Games.
Associated with the relay, batonbearers are selected by nations (through different criteria) and thus individuals embody some of the celebration and values of the Games.
For the journey of the baton through Scotland in advance of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, approximately 4000 people were selected to take part in the QBR. Most were nominated by the public, with the selection of batonbearers primarily been those who have the potential to benefit from the experience or represent communities through their previous volunteering or community involvement.
This connection between community, volunteering and the honour of being a batonbearer is at the heart of research conducted by the University of Strathclyde team. Our research explored how those involved in carrying the Baton continue to engage within their communities, and the impact on the QBR on the wider communities. It considered thus the legacy of QBR and provide insights which may assist future Commonwealth Games organisers as well as contribute to the research on event volunteering.
Uniquely the research included a survey of ALL batonbearers in Scotland as well as more detailed follow up interviews with QBR carriers and surveys of communities visited by the QBR in Scotland. Together they offer new insights on volunteering, events and communities.
A summary of the main conclusions can be found here.
Read the full Headline Report here