Zimbabwean designs 2022 Commonwealth Games Baton

01 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
Zimbabwean designs 2022 Commonwealth Games Baton Laura Nyahuye

The Chronicle

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
UNITED Kingdom-based Zimbabwean artist Laura Nyahuye has designed a rare 2022 Commonwealth Games Baton that will carry the Queen Elizabeth II’s message to athletes from the 72-member nations in a 269-day journey, whose climax will be host city, Birmingham.

The journey begins on October 7 with Commonwealth Games Federation president Dame Louise Martin set to join the Queen at Buckingham Palace for the grand start.

Nyahuye, who is based in Coventry, is the chief executive officer of Maokwo, a not-for-profit company that promotes minorities through art.

Speaking to Insidethegames.biz website, Nyahuye described working on the design as “an intense yet enlightening process”.

The baton features a 360-degree camera, heart-rate monitors, which will display the baton carriers’ heartbeats, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting, which changes each time the baton is exchanged by two people.

“My prayer is the baton creates a rhythmic heartbeat of peace, love and a hunger to connect beyond our skin tones and ethnicities,” Nyahuye told the website.

The baton has been deliberately cast in non-precious metals, copper, aluminum and brass, to represent the gold, silver and bronze medals in the Games themselves.

It was made using the traditional method of lost-wax casting.

“Authenticity and honesty were key to the making of this baton. How is it going to show its honest journey? Not just by coming back and looking brand spanking new. The materials were driven by, how do we relate? How will the baton relate to the Commonwealth countries, to the everyday human?

“I love using copper, plastics… in those materials there’s a story, and as the baton goes around, the humans that interact with it; it’s adding to the story,” Nyahuye said in another interview with BBC.

Cyprus is first of the 72 destinations where it is planned that the Baton will spend two days, followed by Malta.
From there it heads to the African continent where it will visit all 19 countries and also travel to St Helena.

This will be a particularly significant moment.

In 2018 the runners from St Helena were only able to carry it in the Gold Coast because their airstrip had not yet been completed.

The schedule then moves to Asia with a New Year stopover in the Maldives.

The stay in Oceania will coincide with Commonwealth Day, when the baton will be in New Zealand, followed by a visit to Australia.

The planned itinerary takes it to the Caribbean, to Canada and then across to Gibraltar.

It will also be taken to the Falklands Islands, which is celebrating 40 years of Games participation, before returning to the Channel Islands and the British Isles.

The last 25 days are set to be in England itself before the opening ceremony on July 28.

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