Uganda is among the first countries to receive the invitation
Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has received the Queen's Baton Relay officially inviting the country to take part in the 2018 Commonwealth games at the Gold Coast city in Australia.
"Thank you very much for giving us the invitation. On behalf of the country I want to acknowledge the queen's invitation and to let you know that we accept it and Uganda will be in the Gold Coast. We shall be there and you will see us in the field," she said after receiving the Baton.
Kadaga said that though the country is a regular participant in the commonwealth games, there is still need to do more polishing to make people more sharp so that more medals are won for the country.
She said that since Uganda is among the first countries to receive the invitation, the same should be reflected in its performance and presence in Australia.
The Baton was presented to Kadaga by the vice president of the Commonwealth games confederation, Sam Gideon being escorted by the Australia team including the deputy Ambassador Australian High Commission, Jeremy Green and the Uganda Olympics Committee chairman, William Blick.
Uganda is the fourth country to receive the invite. Sierra Leone was the first, followed by Ghana and Rwanda. After Uganda, the Baton will be taken to Cameroon to officially invite them to take part in the games.
"It's my pleasure to represent the Commonwealth Games Confederation and officially invite the country to come to the commonwealth games of 2018 at the beautiful city of Gold Coast," said Gideon.
He explained that the Baton represents the invitation of her majesty the queen of England, Elizabeth II, who three weeks ago at Buckingham palace gave a message of invitation to be sent to 70 countries, across the globe.
The message which is concealed in the Baton will be pulled out at the opening ceremony in April, 2018 and she will read it to all the participants.
"You are welcome in Australia. As you know Australia is almost the second home for Ugandans. We have a large diaspora there who are vibrant and engaged. When Ugandans come to Australia, they enjoy our hospitality which is only equal to the hospitality Australians receive here in Uganda," Green said.
He said that he is looking forward to seeing Uganda repeat the successes of 1962 and of 2006 where two gold medals were won by Ugandan athletes.
"I had the pleasure of being in Kololo on Sunday and I suspect that if what I saw there is repeated, there will be many more medals flowing Uganda's way," he added.
Blick said that the Ugandan team is ready and will be able to win more medals, at least 6, as compared to the 4 that were won in Glasgow in 2014.
The Queen's Baton Relay is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth games. It carries a message from the queen. The relay traditionally begins at the Buckingham palace in London.
The queen entrusts the baton to the first relay runner and at the opening ceremony of the games, the runner hands the baton back to the queen or her representative who reads the message to officially open the games.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth games Queens Baton relay will be the longest and will travel the world for 388 days, reaching Gold Coast for the opening ceremony on April 2018.