City to host baton relay
By Julia Iles
Don't miss your opportunity to see the 2006 Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay today, as it travels around Grafton.
"The Queen's baton relay is an opportunity for the Clarence region to take centre stage as the world's attention is turned to Australia in the days leading up to the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games," Mayor of the Clarence Valley, Ian Tiley said.
Twelve people will take part in the Grafton leg of the relay, which will arrive from Woolgoolga as part of its 21,000km journey that will end in Melbourne in seven weeks time as the Games begin.
One runner is the Australian men's hockey captain Brent Livermore. He will run from the corner of Villiers and Victoria Street on his leg at 11.18am.
The other participants include country music singer Tania Kernaghan, Patricia Fischer, Raymond and George Hunt, Karen Barlow, Harold Kratz, Nancy McPherson, Lindy Mears, Nathan Sullivan, Rebecca Ulrick and Brad Wadwell.
Long-time surf lifesaver at the Minnie Water-Wooli Club, Rebecca Ulrick, is honoured and excited to be taking part in her leg, which starts at the end of the bridge on the Grafton side. She is worried about her fitness level, after giving birth four months ago to her daughter Jamaica.
"I should be okay though but lately I haven't been doing much but it's great to have been nominated," she said.
Another participant, call centre worker Lindy Mears, admits the relay is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I work for Telstra who is sponsoring the event and about 30 of the staff put their names in a hat, and I won the place," she said, and will take the leisurely option of walking her leg.
"Just to be involved and a part of the whole thing is just amazing. I will always remember it."
nToday, at 10.30am, a welcoming ceremony for the runners will be at McKittrick Park, South Grafton. The baton relay will head down the Gwydir Highway and on to Skinner Street, before being carried over the Grafton Bridge and through the central streets of Grafton.
It will arrive outside St Mary's Primary School in Turf Street around midday, before proceeding on to Casino.