21 Nov 2017
Baton Homebush bound
The Athletics NSW State Championships in 2018 will have an added special moment this season when the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Queens Baton Relay passes through the venue.
On Sunday 4 February 2018, the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton relay, which is travelling around Australia, will arrive at the NSW Championships. The baton journey in Australia will commence on Christmas eve when the baton arrives in Queensland.
The torch relay for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, I particularly recall, was a major turning point in the lead up. There is no doubt we will start to feel how close the Games are, and what a reality they are.
Two people who will run with the baton in Sydney Olympic Park are Louise Sauvage and Rob Blackadder.
Sauvage who lit the flame at the 2000 Paralympics is thrilled to carry the 2018 baton.
“I am extremely proud and honoured to be selected to carry the Queens Baton in Sydney Olympic Park next year. Sydney Olympic Park of course holds many great memories for me one of the greatest is winning Gold for Australia in both the Olympics and Paralympics in 2000. I have had the opportunity to carry the Queens Baton last time we held the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 along with many proud moments carrying the Olympic and Paralympic torch.”
Long term official, Rob Blackadder was equally humbled.
“It is a privilege to be selected as part of the team to carry the QRB. I nominated two students to accompany the Olympic Torch in 2000 and hoped that a wheelchair athlete could be involved this time. No 'runners' are accompanying the baton so I carry the message for all of the ‘Athletics Family’ who have crossed paths with me. I am in training by moving equipment around the track at a faster pace than usual!!”
Many people from the athletics community have been offered an opportunity to carry the Queen’s Baton, here are some and the area they will ‘run’ with the baton:
Melinda Gainsford-Taylor - Coonabarabran
Warren Parr - Forster Tuncurry
Margaret Beardslee - Gosford
Louise Currey - Kempsey
Dani Stevens - La Perouse
Christie Dawes - Newcastle
Kurt Fearnley - Newcastle
Scott Westcott - Parkes
Cheryl Webb - Penrith
Rob Blackadder- Sydney Olympic Park
Alexandra Hulley - Sydney Olympic Park
Louise Sauvage - Sydney Olympic Park
Carly Salmon - Wagga Wagga
Marie Kay - Wollongong
Peter Tate - CGA NSW Rep
Fadila Chafic - nominated for work with Surf Life Saving
Claire O’Brien - Sydney Swifts
Stuart Ayres – Sports Minister
Ian Adamson - Principal Newington P.S. work with his students in SOP projects
Andrew Hill - STARtv children's fitness programs
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW