The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Tuesday directed sports federations to commence preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games without further delay.
Dalung gave the directive at a news conference on Queen’s Baton Relay as part of activities to mark the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia from April 4.
He said this was necessary to ensure a robust preparation and a successful outing for Team Nigeria at the Games.
Dalung said that the Queen’s Baton Relay would hold in Lagos from April 1 to April 5.
“The Baton, accompanied by a five-man international team will arrive Nigeria on April 1 in line with the tradition of Queen’s Baton protocol.
“It is my delight to update the media on preparations for the hosting of the Queens’s Baton Relay in Nigeria.
“This is the fifth consecutive time that the relay will be visiting Nigeria, as a traditional curtain raiser to the Commonwealth Games.’’ he said.
Dalung said that the first visit of the Queen’s Baton to Nigeria was in 2002.
The minister said the relay was to the Commonwealth Games what Olympics Torch Relay was to the Olympics Games.
He said that the Queen’s Baton Relay was first introduced as part of the Commonwealth Games in 1958 in Cardiff, Wales.
Dalung said the Baton which usually convey a message from the Queen of England, starts its journey across commonwealth nations and territories a year prior to the games.
He said that the Baton would be presented to Gov Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on April 3, thereafter; the Baton Relay train would proceed to the National Stadium for other activities.
Dalung said that there would be a city float leading a relay pack of past commonwealth athletes, Olympians and paralympians, from the National Stadium through Western Avenue to Ojuelegba
He listed other activities to include: presentation by children of special school at the stadium, visit to Pacelli School for the blind and visit to Nigeria Olympics Committee partner schools.
The Gold Coast 2018 edition of the Queen’s Baton Relay was launched on Monday by Queen Elizabeth 11 at Buckingham Palace, London.