Queen’s Baton edges closer to its final destination, in pictures

It has changed hands thousands of times on its 40,000-kilometre journey across 100 days around Australia.

The journey of the Queen's Baton started in Australia on Christmas Eve 2017 and since then it has gone through outback towns, attended horse races, tennis tournaments, cricket matches, rainforests and beaches.

It will arrive at its destination, Main Beach on the Gold Coast, on April 4 to coincide with the opening of the Commonwealth Games.

The baton has been all around the world too, beginning its journey from Buckingham Palace more than a year ago after the Queen placed a message inside, written on paper made from Australian spinifex.

All up, on April 4 the Queen's Baton will have travelled 230,000km through 70 Commonwealth nations and territories over a period of 388 days.

The baton

The baton itself has been designed to capture "the boundless energy of the Gold Coast".

It was designed and manufactured by a small Brisbane company in West End, Designworks, after extensive community consultation with Indigenous groups, artists, lifeguards and health care workers to make sure it could be carried by any sized hand and adapted for people with a disability.

The design team took inspiration from surfboards and surfboats, evoking the feeling of gliding over water, with the metal parts mimicking the sun striking Gold Coast skyscrapers at sunrise and sunset.

The community on Palm Island comes together with the Commonwealth Games baton.

Made of native macadamia wood and reclaimed plastic from Gold Coast waterways and beaches, the baton also has GPS technology on board to allow it to be tracked as it travels around Australia and the world.

An additional touch is the baton's stainless steel edge, called a stringer, which has been laser-engraved with the three-digit alpha codes of all the nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

What does it feel like?

Eleven-year-old Matthew Thompson from north Queensland said carrying the baton was something he would be proud of for the rest of his life.

"When you are running it feels really light, but when you are walking it has got a different power to it," he said.

An 11-year-old boy carries the Queen's Baton ahead of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast

Who got to carry the baton?

Baton bearers were chosen for being "local legends" and were nominated by their peers for their achievements and contributions to the community.

Father-of-six Matt Bushby thought it was a hoax when he received an email inviting him to be a baton bearer.

Nominated by one of his local softball association members in Karratha, WA, Mr Bushby continued to coach even when he lost his job in 2015.

Even though it was a tough time, Mr Bushby kept volunteering and giving back to his community.

"Kids in the country need to believe in themselves … they need that opportunity to shine," he said.

Original Article


ABC .net


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