‘Games tool to connect people’

THE Commonwealth Games, a competition held every four years for the people of the Commonwealth of Nations, has been labelled as a tool for reconciliation and connecting people of different nationalities.

This was highlighted by Prince Charles while opening the 21st games at the Gold Coast on Wednesday night.

The colourful ceremony, promoting indigenous culture and traditions of the Aborogines and the people of Torres Strait, showcased some of the best entertainers of Queensland through music and performance.

The games was opened by the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, after reading the message from the Queen, which was in the games baton which travelled through countries which included Fiji.

“Over the past 388 days, on its journey from Buckingham Palace to the Gold Coast, the baton relay has passed through every nation and territory of the Commonwealth,” Prince Charles read from the Queen’s message before declaring the games open.

“The ancient stories told by the indigenous people of Australia remind us that even though we may be half-a-world away, we are all connected.

“Over the years, over these friendly games have shown the potential of the Commonwealth to connect people of different backgrounds.

“In this spirit of co-operation and togetherness and enduring friendships found and forged, I continue to be inspired by the courage and the enthusiasm and dedication of those taking part,” he said.

The ceremony, despite being affected by light showers minutes before the opening, depicted Austraia’s traditional heritage which was watched by billions of viewers watching from across the globe.

It saw the games baton ending its journey at the ceremony, with aboriginal dances and ceremonies, and Migaloo the whale. The ceremony showcased some of the trademarks of Australia, especially Gold Coast sandy beaches, and a peek into the Australian life.

Team Fiji contingent was second to enter the stadium amid cheers from the grandstands behind Cook Islands in the Oceania contingent.

It was led by weight-lifter Apolonia Vaivai as flagbearer, followed by our athletes and officials in blue-coloured outfit — as they marched proudly around the tracks which were decorated in traditional themes by a Torress Strait descent, Brian Robinson.

President Jioji Konrote was among Commonwealth leaders who attended the opening.

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