Community heroes champion sport in GC2018 Queen's Baton Relay
Arriving at Queensland’s oldest school, Warwick East State School, on the last day of class before the Easter Holidays, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Queen’s Baton received a rapturous welcome to start day 94 of the Relay.
Just six days out from the largest event in the state’s history, thousands from the community came out to cheer on the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) through Warwick.
The energy was contagious for netball enthusiast and Batonbearer Linda Bunch, described by her peers as the embodiment of netball in Warwick. Bunch has a long list of accolades including Warwick Netball Life Member 2014, Warwick Sports Administrator of the Year 2015, Netball Queensland Volunteer of the Year 2016 and Southern Downs Regional Council Sports Administrator of 2015.
“I’m mega excited, this is a huge, huge honour. Thank you to everyone who nominated me and supports me in everything I do.
“I have a lot of friends and family here. To see these smiling faces, the blue shirts and red shirts [of Warwick netball] everywhere, it’s awesome.”
Blue was also the call of the day in Warwick for John Davis, who dressed in his Batonbearer uniform, jokily described himself as the ‘bow legged stockman wearing Bombay-blue shorts’.
Moving into the Lockyer Valley, Gatton was the next community to celebrate the QBR.
For Claire Keefer, Paralympic bronze medallist (Rio 2016, Athletics), carrying the Queen’s Baton was an opportunity to showcase her community.
“It feels pretty special to represent Gatton and the Lockyer Valley today. I do such solo events [in Athletics] so to have the support of the community and my family, it means the world.”
Keefer also shared her experiences as an athlete on the world stage and how GC2018 athletes may be feeling.
“I think they’re feeling excited, probably a little bit nervous. I bet they can’t wait to get out there to show the whole world what they have.”
Batonbearers aboard a historical steam train and a vintage car carried the Queen's Baton with pride in Ipswich this afternoon, ending the day at a massive community celebration at Limestone Park.
Tomorrow, the Queen’s Baton makes its way to Redcliffe and Brisbane before Saturday’s big QBR celebration at South Bank Parklands headlined by Josh Pyke, one of Australia’s premier singer-songwriters.