THE Games began to slip from Glasgow’s grasp yesterday as the beginning of the official hand-over began with the presentation of a specially written poem to Australia’s Gold Coast, host of the games in 2018.
While the Australian city will take formal possession of the Games legacy baton as part of Sunday evening’s closing ceremony, the process began yesterday with a meeting between ministers of the Scottish Government and the government of Queensland.
Shona Robinson, the Cabinet secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, made the presentation of a framed poem by two of Scotland’s leading poets to Jann Stucky, the minister for tourism, major events and the Commonwealth Games at a meeting in Glasgow.
The poem, entitled Scotland to Queensland, Glasgow to Gold Coast, was jointly written by the Scots Makar, the national poet, Liz Lochhead and Jim Carruth, who is currently the Poet Laureate of Glasgow.
The poem includes the lines: “The good ship Friendship sails between Glasgow/And your far, your golden coast/May fierce friendship forever flourish/ Between each competing nation and their host.”
Ms Lochhead said: “Glasgow is having a real city-wide friendship festival right now. I have never seen the like.
“The most intense – and very necessary – rivalry when striving for sports gold turning into real open human interaction and communication the moment the race is run or the match played.
“Poetry is not usually a team effort but Jim Carruth and I were really happy to work together on producing a simple song of sincere friendship and celebration as we pass on the Commonwealth baton.”