We get to hold Games ba­ton

Six Banana Shire folk in re­lay hon­our

Central Telegraph - - SPORT - Vanessa Jar­rett Vanessa.Jar­rett @cen­tral­tele­graph.com.au

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.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO: FACE­BOOK

Di and Don Mor­ris will em­bark on an­other marathon ride for char­ity. Tanika will be rep­re­sent­ing Goovi­gen State School.

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