The centre piece of British Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee celebrations is the XVII (27th) Commonwealth Games to be held in Manchester from July 25-August 4. The Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay which would carry the Queen's message to formally usher in the games, would begin its record-breaking journey to 22 Commonwealth countries, from the Buckingham Palace in London on Commonwealth Day, March 11, and travel for the first time to all six regions of the world - Africa, The Caribbean, The Americas, Europe, Oceania and Asia.
A statement issued at the on-going Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Coolum, Australia on Sunday, quoted the Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mr Michael Fennell as saying " The Baton a shinning symbol of the modern Commonwealth of Nations, carries within it the Queen's message to all Commonwealth territories and calls on the Commonwealth's best athletes to come together in world class competition in Manchester next July for a festival of sport. The Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay will be the most extensive Relay ever staged and symbolises a bringing together of the world through sport".
It said Cadbury is the Presenting Partner for the Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay, which would travel for four months finishing at the Games Opening ceremony on July 25 when the Queen would read out the message. Being organised by M2002 Limited, the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth games would host more than 5,000 athletes and officials including elite athletes with a disability, coaches and officials from 72 nations across 17 different sports.
The Manchester Games are the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the United Kingdom (UK). Manchester City Council, the Government and Sport England, which have invested 170 million pounds sterling of lottery funding for sports facilities are funding it, which would be used by the people of Manchester for future generations.
To date, 135 million pounds sterling of lottery investment has been allocated to provide world-class facilities for use during the Games. In addition to this, Sport England is also providing extra 30 million pounds sterling.