Five Macarthur locals have been selected to carry the Queen’s baton in the lead-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Warren Potent of Currans Hill, Maximus Singleton of Bargo, Barbara Edwards of Thirlmere, Nicole Calarco of Wedderburn and Dale Paul of Ambarvale will all take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay next year.
They were selected by the Commonwealth Games nomination panel as deserving individuals worthy of representing the country.
Mr Potent, a retired sport shooter with a 30-year career, said it was a proud moment to be selected as a batonbearer.
“I retired from shooting last year, so it’s nice to still be a part of the Games even though I won’t be competing,” he said.
“This is my first time being a batonbearer.
“It does make me proud, we’re representing Australians of every race, creed and colour.”
Mr Potent will take part in the La Perouse leg of the relay, which he said had extra significance given its history as one of the earliest European landing points in Australia.
He said he would definitely have family cheering him on during his stretch.
The prolific medallist is looking forward to cheering on his friends participating in the Games.
“It will be great to watch the Games as a spectator this year,” he said.
“It’s a great thing for Australia to host as a sport-loving nation.
“It should be fantastic.”
Max Singleton will take part in the Wollongong leg of the relay.
The 14-year-old suffered an aneurysm last August and as a result of medication he can not control his body temperature.
His mum Leanne said his selection in the Queen’s Baton Relay was an exciting time for the family.
“It’s representative of how far he’s come,” she said.
Max said he was looking forward to taking part in the relay and was happy his family would be able to cheer him on and support him.
He is not sure what to expect from the event.
Barbara Edwards and Nicole Calarco (a gymnast who competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games) will also be taking part in the Wollongong stretch of the relay.
Mrs Calarco said she was honoured to still be involved in sport.
“I can’t wait,” she said.
“I love being around sport, whether it’s the Commonwealth Games, the Olympics or the Worlds, I love that I still get to do things like this.”
Mrs Calarco said would be taking the baton with a few people in mind.
“It’s definitely for all the gymnastics community, that’s a big part of me, it’s who we all are,” she said.
“But obviously the biggest part for me is representing my family.
“It will be great to have them out there cheering me on.
“My son Isaac has leukaemia, so getting him out there is a huge deal.”
Mrs Calarco said she had previously run with a baton in Campbelltown before the Sydney 2000 Olympics, which she still has at home so it’s ‘always with her’.
She said sport was ‘in her blood’ and she couldn’t wait to watch the Games next year.
Dale Paul, an ultramarathon runner, will bear the baton in Griffith.
Mr Paul said he would travel anywhere to be a part of the relay.
“I lot of people have been saying, ‘why are you going all the way to Griffith to do the relay’, but I think it’s an opportunity that’s once-in-a-lifetime,” she said.
“The 250-metre run will be a bit shorter than my ultramarathon stuff, but it’s such an honour to be a part of it.”
Mr Paul said it would be a bit nerve-racking to take part, but he was looking forward to the crowd’s excitement.
“The people in Griffith don’t know me at all, I’m a stranger to them, but they’ll still be cheering me on,” he said.
“Usually when I see cheering crowds at the end of a marathon I’m exhausted, so it will a difference experience to see them when I’m fresh.”
Mr Paul said he would be representing his wife and two kids in the relay, and all members of the running community.
He is looking forward to watching the Games and will be on the Gold Coast for work (helping to deliver equipment during the event) for the two week period.
The relay kicked off in London in March, with Australian cyclist Anna Meares accepting the baton from Queen Elizabeth II.
The baton lands in Brisbane to start the final leg of its journey on Christmas Eve this year.
The baton will make appearances at major events in the summer school holidays, before the relay itself resumes on January 25.
The baton will be carried by approximately 3800 Australians around the country before the Games begin.
The Advertiser is attempting to get in touch with Ms Edwards, Ms Calarco and Mr Paul.