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Queen's Baton Relay
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Australian sporting superstar to help launch Queen’s Baton Relay

Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games media release logo

4 March 2005

Australian track and field legend Catherine Freeman will play an integral role in commencement celebrations for the Melbourne 2006 Queen’s Baton Relay, to be held in London on Commonwealth Day, Monday 14 March 2005.

Catherine will join Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace as the Queen’s Baton is handed to the first of many thousands of honorary relay runners that will carry it to the opening ceremony of the XVIII Commonwealth Games in Melbourne on 15 March 2006.

The baton contains Her Majesty’s ‘message to the athletes’ – housed for the first time in an electronic microchip – and is the most revolutionary games baton ever produced, containing two micro cameras, a sound recorder, a GPS tracking device and other innovative features to enable people across the globe to follow the baton’s journey on the internet.

“Commonwealth and Olympic gold medalist, Catherine Freeman is a wonderful ambassador for Australian sport and is much loved the world over. We are delighted that she has agreed to play such an important role in the relay celebrations we have planned for London in only two weeks time,” said Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Chairman Ronald J Walker AC CBE.

“The start of the Queen’s Baton Relay is a major event for the city of London and for the Commonwealth Games Federation. Catherine Freeman has many supporters across the world and we invite all members of the public to come along to see the Melbourne 2006 Queen’s Baton for themselves and cheer on Catherine and other celebrity runners on The Mall on Monday 14 March, “ said Mr Mike Fennell CD, President, Commonwealth Games Federation.

What: commencement celebrations for the Melbourne 2006 Queens’ Baton Relay
When: 11:45am to 12:30pm, Monday 14 March 2005
Where: commencement ceremony – Buckingham Palace, London: 11:45am to 12:30pm celebrity relay – The Mall, London: 12:00 noon to 12:30pm

The Melbourne 2006 Queen’s Baton Relay is the longest, most inclusive relay in history. The Queen’s Baton will travel more than 180,000 kilometres, across land, air and sea, and will visit all 71 nations of the Commonwealth in a year and a day.

The names of the celebrity runners involved in the Queen’s Baton Relay commencement celebrations will be announced by Melbourne 2006 Chairman Mr Ronald J Walker AC CBE and Mr Mike Fennell CD, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation at a media conference at 11am on Thursday 10 March at Australia House, The Strand, London. Please register your attendance by emailing your address, title and name of your media organisation to Photo identification will be required for entry.

For further information please contact:
Andria Hutchins
Media and Marketing,
Queen’s Baton Relay,
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games: tel. +61 439 042 274;

Charmaine Dobson
General Manager,
Marketing and Communications,
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games: tel. +61 408 379 240;

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