UTech, Jamaica Welcomes 16th Official Queen’s Baton

Mr Richard Powell, Pro-Chancellor, University of Technology, Jamaica receives the Queen’s Baton from baton bearer Ms Larissa McBean, alumna of both  the University of Technology, Jamaica and the University of Birmingham, UK.  The Baton was presented at a ceremony at UTech, Jamaica’s Papine Campus on Saturday, April 16, 2022.

University of Technology, Jamaica on Saturday, April 16, 2022 welcomed the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay as part of the iconic places on the island at which the Baton made a stop en route to its destination to this year’s staging of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham, United Kingdom (UK) scheduled for July 28 to August 8, 2022.

The Baton arrived in Jamaica on April 15, as part of its journey through 72 Commonwealth nations and territories, prior to the official start of the Games.  Jamaica is the 51st stop, since the relay started on 7 October 2021, with Her Majesty the Queen placing her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton. It arrived in Jamaica from the Cayman Islands and will next head to Trinidad and Tobago after its three-day stop in Jamaica.

The arrival of the Baton at UTech, Jamaica’s Papine Campus coincided with the University’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on April 13, 2022 with the University of Birmingham.  The University of Birmingham is an official partner of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Official Global University Partner of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

At UTech, Jamaica, the Baton was received by Pro-Chancellor Mr Richard Powell who is also an alumnus of the University of Birmingham.  The baton was relayed to him by UTech, Jamaica and University of Birmingham alumna Ms. Larissa McBean.  The alumna, who was invited to be a Baton bearer, was chosen as the ideal candidate owing in part to her research areas including sports tourism as a vehicle to socio-economic development and alignment of tourism investment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Jamaica.

Ms. McBean’s community development work feeds into longer term infrastructure projects, including the development of railways in Jamaica - promoting better connectivity and mobility for the island’s communities.  She noted: “I am extremely proud to be Baton bearer, and connected to both these fine institutions, UTech, Jamaica and the University of Birmingham. Community development is at the heart of national development, which is why I am proud to work for the development of Jamaican communities through tourism.”

Professor Clive Roberts, Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham in welcoming the Baton remarked that “it gives me great pleasure to stand before you today to mark the 16th Queen’s Baton Relay passing through the great country of Jamaica.”  He explained that  environmental scientists from his School of Geography and engineers in the School of Engineering, University of Birmingham, have helped to create a hi-tech ‘heart’ for the Baton which consists of atmospheric sensors, that use advanced laser technology, to analyse the environment as the baton traverses the world.  “When the baton returns to Birmingham my colleagues will be using this data to analyse the environmental condition on its 269 day long journey that passes through some 72 countries,” Prof. Roberts disclosed.

Mr Oneil Josephs, Head, School of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, UTech, Jamaica in also welcoming the collaboration between the two universities, told the gathering that “Our country, the School of Engineering, but particularly the young people of UTech, Jamaica  will be better because of this partnership.”

Also Participating in the Baton Receival Ceremony at UTech, Jamaica were Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) President, Mr. Christopher Samuda who said the association “embraces the Queen’s Baton, [with] the spirit of friendship and brotherhood, ” adding that the Baton represents “hope for a better world through sport”. Also in attendance were Mr Donald Quarrie, Jamaican track and field legend, other members of the sports fraternity including athletes from various sport disciplines from University of Technology, Jamaica and The University of the West Indies (Mona).

The Queen’s Baton Relay will complete its journey at the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on 28 July 2022 where the final Baton bearer will pass the Baton back to The Queen. The Queen’s message to the Commonwealth will then be removed from the Baton and read aloud, marking the official start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Dr. Kamilah Hylton (forefront) Dean, Faculty of Science and Sport, UTech, Jamaica joins Mr. Paulton Gordon, Director, Department of Community Service and Development, UTech, Jamaica along with student athletes from The UWI (Mona) and UTech, Jamaica en route to The Queen’s Baton presentation ceremony, Shared Facilities Building at UTech, Jamaica’s Papine Campus on Saturday, April 16, 2022.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299 
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm