Australia's youngest ever Paralympic gold medallist and Newcastle's 2017 Citizen of the Year are among the Novocastrians selected today to take part in the Queen's Baton Relay for next year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Maddison Elliott, who was just 13 when she won gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games, and tireless refugee advocate Sister Di Santleben will be among the thousands of people worldwide to carry the baton on its journey from London to the Games' opening ceremony on 4 April, 2018.
L-R: Paralympian Maddison Elliott, Sister Di Santleben, Lord Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes, 2017 Newcastle Young Citizen of the Year Phill Johnson and former Athletics NSW President and Chairman Sean Scanlon
Other local participants include 2017 Newcastle Young Citizen of the Year Phill Johnson, champion wheelchair athlete Kurt Fearnley and former president and chairman of Athletics NSW Sean Scanlon.
The Queen's Baton Relay is due to arrive in Newcastle on Saturday 3 February next year.
It will make its way off a tug boat at Honeysuckle, continuing along the Newcastle Foreshore then south around the coast to the viewing platform overlooking Bar Beach.
Lord Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes said local participants had been selected for either:
- achieving something extraordinary in their community or inspiring others to do so
- making a significant contribution through sports, education, arts, culture or charity
- excelling or aspiring to excel athletically or personally, or
- contributing to a fun, friendly, vibrant and inclusive community.
"This is a celebration of people from all walks of life who are doing great things in their community," she said.
"The Queen's Baton Relay will pass through Newcastle just two months before the opening ceremony of the 21st
Commonwealth Games. Knowing our city's love for sport, I'm sure the community will get right behind it."
"I'd like to congratulate all of our baton-bearers - they will be representing not only themselves and their own great achievements but all Novocastrians."
The Queen's Baton Relay is a Commonwealth Games tradition to celebrate diversity, inspire community pride and excite people about the upcoming Games. It carries a message from the Queen that will be read during the opening ceremony.
Unlike the Olympic torch relay, where each torch-bearer carries his or her own torch, the Queen's Baton Relay involves just one baton passed from hand to hand.
The 2018 baton was designed to "embody the boundless energy, spirit and vibrancy of the Gold Coast, Queensland and the 21st
Commonwealth Games organisers released the full list of baton-bearers today.
The full list of participants in the relay's Newcastle leg is below.
2018 Queen's Baton Relay Newcastle leg participants