We get to hold Games baton
Six Banana Shire folk in relay honour
THE Queen’s Baton will make its way on a 100 day journey across Australia in the lead up to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and six lucky residents of the Banana Shire will get to have a turn.
The six local baton bearers will be among a list of about 3800 Australia who will carry the presitigious baton.
In Queensland alone there are more than 1800 baton bearers as the relay travels to 83 communities over 33 days.
The relay will come to Brisbane on Christmas Eve, arriving from Buckingham Palace after travelling through Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
Travelling throughout the country, it will move back through Queensland after March 3 before the start of the Commonwealth Games on April 4.
While the baton will not be coming through the Banana Shire this year, the shire will still be represented through the local baton bearers who will hold the baton in celebration ceremonies in Duaringa and Gladstone.
Husband and wife team, Di and Don Morris from Thangool are among the list and said they were proud to be representing their small town.
“We represent a wider community than of Thangool, we represent the whole community, not just Thangool, our wider community, we represent those who support us and need us,” Di said.
The couple were nominated for their work with charity Tour De Cure who raise money for research.
“We were nominated by a school friend and we were actually overseas when it came through, we couldn’t believe when we found out,” Di said.
“We are very proud of and we hope it promotes more research, and more awareness.”
Their volunteer work doesn’t end with the charity bike rides.
“Don’s Sailability involvement; he is trying to make a better life for those who are disadvantaged and my involvement in the community and for health services,” Di said.
Di and Don will have the chance to hold the baton in Gladstone where they will be able to run or walk with it for 200 metres.
“It would be nice to get a busload of people to come over from the Banana Shire,” Di said.
“Get a lot of supporters and have a lot of fun.”
While it isn’t until next year, Di said both she and Don were looking forward to it.
“Absolutely, we don’t know what to expect yet but we are just so proud,” she said.
Ten-year-old Tanika Tribe will also be representing her small town of Goovigen.
“Mr McCoullagh, our old principal, nominated me at the start of the year of the year and I have just been waiting to find out,” Tanika said.
“It will be cool.” Tanika is the talk of her school, Goovigen State School, which only has five students.
“When I told everyone at school they were all really excited,” Tanika said.
Involved in some athletics sports, Tanika has a few favourites she said she was good at.
“Swimming, discus and long jump,” she said.
By the time Tanika is holding the baton she will be 11 and she is looking forward to it.
“I don’t know what to expect, I have never done it before,” she said.
The best part will be getting to represent her home town and background.
“Probably just getting to represent Goovigen and my school.”
Di and Don Morris will embark on another marathon ride for charity. Tanika will be representing Goovigen State School.