On a misty July morning in 1966, Bruce Kidd – now dean of U of T’s Faculty of Physical Education and Health – ran through the Buckingham Palace gates with a gold-plated baton in hand. He was flanked by British running champions Brian Kilby (left) and Bruce Tulloh.
Kidd was the lead runner in the Queen’s Baton Relay, which precedes the Commonwealth Games and is similar to the Olympic torch relay. Queen Elizabeth II herself had proffered the baton, along with some pleasantries, in the palace’s forecourt. (“How do you like this Scotch mist?” she politely inquired.)
The runners cantered across Queen’s Park to a dais, where Kidd handed the baton to the Jamaican high commissioner to the U.K. Baton bearers would eventually carry the torch across England and islands in the British West Indies.
While only 23, Kidd was an old hand at being a star runner: he had won gold and bronze at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and competed in the 1964 Olympics.
Recently, Kidd (BA 1965 UC) again took part in the Queen’s Baton Relay: on April 14, he carried the baton along Metro Hall Square during the Toronto leg of the event.
Kidd is now set to hand off another sort of honour: after 19 years at the helm of Physical Education and Health, he will be stepping down at the end of June. (He will, however, remain as a professor.) A champion of equity and diversity in sports, it is certain, however, that Kidd is ending one leg of the race simply to begin another. – Stacey Gibson
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