Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Lewis Clareburt has been inspiring New Zealand's next generation of athletes with the Queen’s Baton on Commonwealth Day.
The Baton is the symbol of the Commonwealth Games and has been touring New Zealand to promote Birmingham 2022, which is set to run from July 28th – August 8th.
Today the baton visited Wellington College with Commonwealth Games athletes Clareburt, Kyle Pontifex from hockey, and Sally Johnston from shooting.
Around 20 kids of the schools top sportspeople held a Q&A session with the athletes to learn and hear their stories of determination and success.
“It’s awesome to have the Queen’s Baton here. It’s a huge inspiration for us and the spirit that it holds for sport is amazing,” said Clareburt.
With just 136 days to Birmingham 2022 Clareburt says he’s in a preparation phase ahead of New Zealand trials.
“I’m really just grinding away at the moment and am getting itchy feet to race. I know there’s quite a bit of work to do but I’m definitely tracking along quite nicely.”
The Baton later visited the British High Commission as it celebrated Commonwealth Day, the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of nations.
At the High Commission it connected with high school students from around the Wellington region who shared views on issues affecting the Commonwealth including climate change, youth mobility and education in the post-Covid world, security and peace, and reflect on what the Commonwealth means to them.
The Baton also visited Government House, where Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro was formally announced as Patron of New Zealand Olympic Committee.
Yesterday the Queen’s Baton celebrated the upcoming Commonwealth Games debut of Women’s T20 cricket by visiting the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup match between trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand in Wellington.
“It’s a huge 12-months for us with the Commonwealth Games a few months after the World Cup,” said Olympian and White Fern Suzie Bates.
“Obviously our focus is fully on the World Cup at the moment but having the Baton here is a great reminder that the Games aren’t too far off and all of us in the WHITE FERNS are super excited to be a part of it.”
The Baton will visit Auckland tomorrow and will be present as the lawn bowls para athletes and weightlifting team is named for Birmingham 2022.