Mick Maley carries the Queen's Baton through the Jetty Foreshores as the relay makes its way toward the Coffs Harbour city centre.
Mick Maley carries the Queen's Baton through the Jetty Foreshores as the relay makes its way toward the Coffs Harbour city centre. Keagan Elder

Crowds line Harbour Drive for Queen's Baton

NOBODY was more surprised about the number of people that lined Harbour Drive for the Queen's Baton Relay than the participants themselves.

Headed for the Gold Coast in 62 days time in time for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, the relay allowed an opportunity for local legends and community champions to be recognised for years of often selfless work.

One relay member, Michael Crossland, admitted he initially thought it was a lonely leg when he carried the baton that holds a message from Queen Elizabeth II.

"It was funny because when we drove down to the Jetty there was no-one on the streets at all, so I thought we were going to be running to an empty street," Crossland said.

"Then when we turned around and came back there was just people everywhere. So it was really cool to see this wonderful community support such a very special event."

Mick Maley took the baton through the Jetty Foreshores and said it was unforgettable experience.

"Terrific, it was a buzz, really good," he said.

"To see a lot of friends and a lot of those people down at the Jetty were part of my workforce for years, all of the volunteers. It was great."

Local athletics stalwart Steel Beveridge has done plenty of marathins in his life but he said the short stint with the baton in his hand was an honour.

"It was very nice to be nominated and to get into the sort of august company, that was wonderful," Beveridge said.

Jim Woodlock, who's done many years of work for the local AFL community as well as other sporting organisations, was another relay member blown away by the crowd support along the route.

"Doing the run was absolutely awesome. I couldn't believe the number of people that were out there,"

"To me it was very emotional."



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