Hats off to volunteers who will carry Commonwealth Games baton

Susan Courtney will carry the baton in Nowra before the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast next year.
Susan Courtney will carry the baton in Nowra before the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast next year.

Two long serving volunteers from the Shoalhaven have been selected to carry the Queen’s baton before the Commonwealth Games starts in April.

Susan Courtney and Craig Norris were honoured to accept the duty.

“It was a real honour to be nominated, lovely that Jo Burns thought enough of me to nominate me, and I was surprised to be successful,” Susan said.

Susan just returned from taking part in a fundraiser for motor neuron disease.

The team raised over $21,000 this year, contributing to a total of $600,000, and it’s still not too late to donate.

“It’s really exciting, letting the researchers at Macquarie University do clinical trials that they’ve not been able to do before,” she said.

“It’s pretty exciting, we’re hopeful it will lead to a cure for MND.”

The bush fire consultant has volunteered for the Rural Fire Service for 17 years, helping with major disasters not only in her own community but other communities in times of need.

She has been a part of the Women and Firefighting Australasia, president for the first year and then treasurer for six years.

Susan has also been a long-running member of the Illaroo Soccer Club, where she has filled the position of vice president for four years.

She has been the junior registrar for the last three years, helping encourage kids into sports.

This year she will be the ladies coordinator.

At 46, she plays in the women’s soccer competition.

“I love soccer, I’ve been playing all my life, since the under 10 boys, back when girls didn’t play,” she said.

“I was a bit of a tomboy growing up, enjoyed doing outdoorsy things, my dad’s always treated me and my brother the same, and I was always fixing things, building pergolas, dad’s been a great role model.”

Over the past eight years Craig has organised and raised over $80,000 for Cancer with his Call to Arms event in the community.

He has been actively involved with the Cancer Council and CanAssist, and is passionate about helping those in his community. 

Craig also has made a huge contribution to local soccer.

He has built up STAGS FC which started with two teams to a current organisation of 30 plus teams and 300 plus players.

He loves about providing local kids with a chance to participate in sport.

Collectively across the country, batonbearers will take more than a million steps to bring the Baton to its final destination, the Games’ Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018 on the Gold Coast.

 It arrives in Nowra on Monday, February 5 at 3.30pm.