GAMES HOPES: Allora thrower Matthew Denny on his home throwing circle before heading to the Olympics. He is now aiming for the Commonwealth Games in discus and hammer.
GAMES HOPES: Allora thrower Matthew Denny on his home throwing circle before heading to the Olympics. He is now aiming for the Commonwealth Games in discus and hammer. Gerard Walsh

Eight months to Queen's Baton in Warwick area

IT IS only eight months to the arrival of the Queen's Baton on the Southern Downs.

While they talk Torch Relays for the Olympics, it is the Queen's Baton in the Commonwealth Games and it will be in Warwick on the morning of March 29 on the way to the Gold Coast for the April 4 opening ceremony next year.

Seems the Queen's Baton route in Warwick will be a little shorter than with the Olympic Torch in 2000 when it started out near the Caltex Truck N Travel. The odds are it will pass some schools.

Later this year, the baton bearers will be announced but at this stage the baton has just spent 52 days travelling across 14 Commonwealth islands in the Caribbean.

It will continue on its journey around the Commonwealth and will be in Dalby, Oakey and Toowoomba before the March 29 stopover in Warwick. Then it will be on to Gatton and Ipswich the same day.

Obviously Southern Downs Regional Council will be working with Queen's Baton route organisers about what will happen in this area but the reality is it will be an exciting time for Warwick and surrounds.

This relay will be largely run in the larger centres with the baton covering most of the kilometres in the back of a car.

Things have changed since Warwick resident Rex Baguley and Pat McCarthy carried the torch as part of the 14-day relay from Cairns to Melbourne for the Olympics in 1956 when the torch was run the whole distance of the route, day and night.

As for Commonwealth Games tickets, only two of the 11 athletics sessions were sold out on Monday. There are still B tickets, $100 each, to the men's and women's 100m sprint finals and what hopefully will be one of Matthew Denny's finals at the games.

For those on a tight budget, there are tickets as low as $10 for children and $20 for adults and free events like marathons and walks in athletics, and cycling road races.

If you want to watch swimming, track cycling, netball and beach volleyball at the Gold Coast next year, the news on the ticket front is not good but there are still squash and basketball tickets for sale and tickets still available for roughly half the sessions in shooting (being held in Brisbane), hockey, rugby, table tennis and boxing.

In sports with only tickets available for some sessions, the reality is they are likely to sell out before the games so I wouldn't wait around if keen to secure tickets. Just go to Ticketek and have a credit or debit card nearby.



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