Age no barrier in relay honour
By UTE SCHULENBERG
RICHIE Goddard and Harold Metson may be generations apart but yesterday they found out they had something in common.
Both have been nominated to be runners in the Queen's Baton Relay when it travels from Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour on Sunday, January 29, enroute to the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Richie, 14, comes from Hernani, and was nominated for his successes in the swimming pool.
"Richie is autistic," his mother Shana Goddard said.
"He was very antisocial but swimming has brought him out of himself. Now he is a very sociable autistic."
Richie's coach, Leigh Eastwood, said he had broken some Australian age records and his achievements showed even with a disability, people can achieve things and enjoy life.
At 96 Mr Metson is one of the oldest relay runners.
"I am ever so excited to be doing this," the well-known Bellingen resident said.
His neighbour, Paddy Murphy, described Mr Metson as 'exceptional'.
"He is always doing something to create happiness for others, from making wooden toys for the Salvation Army to clowning for Camp Quality. He really deserves this honour," Mr Murphy said.
The Queen's Baton will visit 500 Australian communities and be carried over 21,500 kilo-metres by 3500 runners.
Sixty-four residents from the Mid North Coast have been chosen for this stretch of the relay.
The Relay is sponsored by Telstra Countrywide.