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Queen’s Baton to Village Festival

Commonwealth games fever is about to grip Victoria Park in Tupapa as the last Just Play village festival for the year prepares to host the Queen’s Baton Relay on Monday 13th November 2017.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games. Hundreds of children from around Rarotonga will get the rare opportunity to touch the baton and also see the note inside which was written by the Queen, and will be read out at the games.

Celebrations will begin on the field at 2:30pm and finish off a little after 3.30pm. The Just Play organizers will be on hand to provide children, aged five to thirteen years with an opportunity to get involved and have a go at a wide variety of sports.
Activities include soccer, athletics, cricket, badminton, rugby and netball. Parents can relax on the parks grounds and watch their kids. The baton is expected to arrive at 2:45pm.

This Commonwealth games has a closer connection to us all through the 1 Million Stars to End Violence Project. Just Play was one of the key advocates of the “Weave a Star” project working closely with Merita Wi Kaitaia from Punanga Tauturu while providing the opportunity to make stars with children at a number of Village Festivals and in schools on the islands of Atiu and Mitiaro. Our stars are set for centre stage as they will be displayed at the games on the Gold Coast in 2018.

As Universal Children’s Day is also celebrated this month Just Play will take the opportunity to reiterate at the village festival the important role that sports play in a child’s development, both physically and socially with an emphasis on respecting oneself and others. The Commonwealth Games charter recognizes the importance of youth and advocates the use of sports in a manner, which links it to outcomes in youth development, help, education, gender equality and social cohesion.

Just Play’s project manager Michelle Paiti says “ We would like to share this opportunity to touch the baton with as many children as possible, let’s show our community and country pride, as the baton makes its way around our island” So don’t forget the change of day to MONDAY, and see you all there.

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