Baton holders relish Commonwealth honour

Chloe FraserThe West Australian

Four residents will be a part of history next year, helping bring the Queen’s baton to its final destination at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Former Commonwealth Games athlete Chris Hardwick, ex-triathlete Yvette Williamson, retired MLC Barry House and Olympian Pam Glossop will carry the baton when it passes through Bunbury on February 23 during the 100-day countdown to the games’ opening ceremony on April 4.

Nominated by their peers for their achievements and contributions to the community, the baton bearers said they were humbled to represent the spirit of the Commonwealth.

Mr House, who has Commonwealth connections through a lifetime involvement in sport and Parliament, said he was honoured to be part of the games.

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He said the selection criteria was broad, including people with direct links to the games and people who had faced personal challenges.

“That’s part of the spirit of the Commonwealth Games — everyone who’s involved in a small way creates the bigger picture,” he said.

Williamson, who was left in an induced coma and on life support after suffering an allergic reaction to chemotherapy, said while she thought many people in the community were deserving of nomination, she was happy to represent women and the challenges associated with breast cancer.

Meanwhile, two-time Commonwealth Games athlete Hardwick reminisced on his time at the Edinburgh games in 1970 and in Christchurch in 1974, but said being a part of the Queen’s baton relay was an achievement he honoured.

Glossop, a 1984 Olympics competitor, said while she was lucky to carry the Olympic torch in 2000, it was a privilege to represent the community in the Queen’s relay.

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