Moura swim coach among pres­ti­gious ba­ton list

Central Telegraph - - SPORT -

MOURA swim coach and mother of five Sarah Mor­ris said she was “su­per-duper” ex­cited to be tak­ing part in the iconic 388-day jour­ney the Com­mon­wealth Games ba­ton will make on its way to the open­ing cer­e­mony on the Gold Coast next year.

Ms Mor­ris, who is a direc­tor and swim teacher at Moura Me­mo­rial Pool, was nom­i­nated for the na­tional hon­our by a friend who de­scribed her smile as “in­fec­tious” and her cam­paign­ing for wa­ter safety as “pas­sion­ate”.

With 3800 other Aus­tralians, Ms Mor­ris was this week named as a bearer in the 40,000km re­lay where each par­tic­i­pant will carry the ba­ton about 200m.

She said she would be bring­ing the ba­ton into Duaringa on March 23 and she was ex­cited to be able to show her chil­dren on a map the jour­ney the ba­ton would be mak­ing.

It is due to ar­rive in Bris­bane on Christ­mas Eve, by which time it will have trav­elled across Africa, the Caribbean, the Amer­i­cas and Europe since leav­ing Buck­ing­ham Palace in March.

“The ba­ton it­self is such a fan­tas­tic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a com­mu­nity. It unites us and it is won­der­ful to know our world can still get on,” she said.

“I’m hop­ing to go to the open­ing cer­e­mony to show the chil­dren the enor­mity of where the ba­ton has been and what it’s for, and how many peo­ple are do­ing this to­gether.”

Ms Mor­ris said con­tribut­ing to her lo­cal com­mu­nity was “re­ally im­por­tant”.

“And be­ing a part of a com­mu­nity means get­ting out there and do­ing things for every­body. It’s big­ger than your­self,” she said.

She said she was a whole­hearted ad­vo­cate for wa­ter safety, es­pe­cially for in­fants and un­der-fives.

In the past 18 months, Ms Mor­ris has been cre­at­ing a cul­ture of “well­ness through wa­ter” by pro­mot­ing the Moura pool as a place for com­mu­nity mem­bers to come to­gether.

“Peo­ple can ex­er­cise and chat, and it’s a place where there’s no judg­ment.

“The com­mu­nity that we cre­ate is a safe place to be, some­where where you’re not rushed and you can utilise the wa­ter to be able to live freely and pain-free.

“Every­body can ben­e­fit from the wa­ter – ev­ery­one aged from six months old to 109.

“The wa­ter has many dif­fer­ent qual­i­ties that al­low our bod­ies to work with ease, by tak­ing the grav­ity out of our bod­ies. It helps our men­tal health, peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and any­one with gen­eral aches and pains. And it’s good for mind­ful­ness.

“Be­ing in the wa­ter gives you a big step for­ward in be­ing able to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where you can re­lax.”

She said it was cru­cial for all Aus­tralians – whether liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas or closer to the coast – to re­spect the wa­ter and to learn wa­ter safety.

With her friend and Banana Shire coun­cil­lor Brooke Leo, Ms Mor­ris has also been or­gan­is­ing and host­ing Moura’s Big­gest Morn­ing Tea, a pop­u­lar event that has raised more than $65,000 for Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land in the past five years.

“But we only fa­cil­i­tate that,” she said. “The money raised is the gen­eros­ity of our com­mu­nity, our wider com­mu­nity and our greater dis­trict.

“It blows us away ev­ery year. We al­ways end up cry­ing into our cham­pagne – ev­ery year.”

PHOTO: CARLY GOODY

COM­MU­NITY CHAM­PION: Sarah Mor­ris will hold the Queen’s Ba­ton be­fore the Com­mon­wealth Games.

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