10 October 2013

Her Majesty The Queen sent the Glasgow 2014 baton on its 120,000-mile trip around the Commonwealth yesterday, ahead of the Games next summer.

UNICEF Ambassador Sir Chris Hoy kicked off the launch, carrying the baton along the Mall and into the forecourt of the palace.

We're teaming up with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to transform children’s lives across the Commonwealth. It's the first time a charity affiliation to a Games has ever taken place.

"You can see the difference events like this make to children", said Sir Chris. "I'm a UNICEF Ambassador now, and they're partnering with Glasgow 2014 to try and improve the lives of children all across the Commonwealth. But it's also about at home in Glasgow and in Scotland - all the people who will see the Games, all the children who will be inspired by the Games."

As the ceremony began, UNICEF Youth Ambassador Monica Dzonzi stepped up to meet the Queen as one of the first baton bearers, alongside former Olympic 100m champion Alan Wells.

Monica fought for her right to an education and against child marriage. She gained skills through a UNICEF-supported youth centre in Malawi, which she now runs.

"I've come a long way and can't believe today I shook hands with The Queen", said Monica. "Everyone talks about her and they always say ‘I'd love to meet her some day’. I was one of the people who wanted to meet her, and today my dream has been achieved."

Read Monica's blog and watch her interview

Monica was joined behind the stage by 70 young people from our network of partner schools, universities and supporters in London and Glasgow, who carried the flags of each of the competing nations and territories to represent the one billion young people across the Commonwealth.

Glasgow 2014: Sign up and be part of the Games

 
Monica, our Youth Ambassador from Malawi meets UNICEF UK Ambassador Sir Chris Hoy at the Queen's Baton relay launch. © UNICEF UK/2013/Mikael Buck
Monica, our Youth Ambassador from Malawi meets UNICEF Ambassador Sir Chris Hoy at the Queen's Baton relay launch.© UNICEF UK/2013/Mikael Buck