18 October 2017

Sports Minister Stuart Ayres today announced a distinguished roll call of NSW batonbearers who will carry the Queen’s Baton early next year, during the 100-day countdown to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Minister Ayres today met with some of the relay participants during a ceremony at Sydney Olympic Park.

“These batonbearers have done the State proud through their various contributions and achievements in their communities,” Mr Ayres said.

Participants include Paralympian Louise Sauvage OAM, rising netball star Claire O’Brien, athletics mentor to para-athletes Rob Blackadder, swim instructor Fadila Chafic and several students from Newington Public School.

The baton will arrive in Brisbane on Christmas Eve and starts its NSW leg in Wagga Wagga on 28 January. It will travel through areas including Orange, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour, Penrith and Wollongong, before heading to Batemen’s Bay on 6 February.

Mr Ayres said: “I encourage everyone to come and witness history – as the baton makes its way across NSW.”

Ms Sauvage said: “I am very honoured to be a batonbearer for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, especially in Sydney Olympic Park, as it holds so many great memories for me as an athlete.”

Across the country, relay participants will take more than a million steps to bring the baton – which carries Her Majesty’s message to athletes – to its final stop at the Games’ Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018.

Since its launch from Buckingham Palace on 13 March 2017, the baton has inspired athletes and communities across Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe. Currently it is in Malaysia and is set to visit the remaining 15 Commonwealth nations in Asia and Oceania before arriving in Australia.

More detail on the names of Batonbearer names and the baton journey is available at https://www.gc2018.com/qbr

# See attached photos from today’s announcement with batonbeares; Louise Sauvage, Claire O’Brien, Rob Blackadder and Fadila Chafic. Junior athletes from PSSA State Athletics Championships also took part in today’s event.