Commonwealth Youth Games’ baton relay flagged off in Delhi

August 1st, 2008 - 9:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) The Youth Baton Relay of the third Commonwealth Youth Games was flagged off here Friday at Delhi University as singer Rabbi Shergill belted his popular numbers. The relay that began from the North Campus will visit South Campus Saturday and leave for Gurgaon Sunday before taking on its 8,000 km journey across the country.

“I think it is the starting of the Commonwealth Games itself. Today, the people have given a great send-off to the baton,” Suresh Kalmadi, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chairman, told IANS at the event.

Kalmadi is also organising chairman of the Commonwealth Youth Games as well as the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“We are building a platform for promoting the Olympic Games, the Green Games and awareness to save the tiger in an otherwise cricket-dominated country,” he added.

Jigrr, official mascot of the event, handed over the baton to Kalmadi. He then passed it on to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

She handed it to Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports M.S. Gill. Following Gill, the baton was taken over by its first bearer former Indian Hockey team captain Dhanraj Pillai who flagged off the relay.

The students, who participated in the event, covered nine colleges in North Campus.

The baton will tour 199 cities in nine states before arriving in Pune Oct 12, the inaugural day of the event. It will be carried by 6,000 selected sportsperson and will be escorted by a team consisting of 80 crew and 26 vehicles from Delhi to Pune.

All the 71 Commonwealth nations with over 1,300 athletes aged below 18 and 350 officials will participate in nine disciplines at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports City at Balewadi, Pune. The event will conclude Oct 18.

The dignitaries present at the event also signed the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) signature campaign to promote “Save the Tiger” initiative, which is also one of the causes being supported by the relay.

While Rabbi started the event rendering songs like “Bulla ki jaana” and the tracks from his new album “Avengi Ja Nahi”, Euphoria’s Palash Sen concluded the event. He belted out hit numbers including “Kabhi aana tu” and “Dhoom pichak dhoom”.

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