Freeland’s all set

Joel Freeland

Joel Freeland

The Queen’s Baton Relay will pass through Ararat on Tuesday with four Grampians representatives involved.

Ararat’s Karen Brennan and Chloe Dunmore will be joined by Stawell’s Joel Freeland and Keith Lofthouse for the event, starting at Ararat College at 4.50pm.

Brennan said she is excited for the day to finally come.

“I am really looking forward to it, it will be a great experience to be able to carry the baton through my hometown,” she said.

“Being a local, to take part in the relay alongside Shane Kelly who has competed at Commonwealth Games before is great and I am looking forward to it a lot.

“I am a sport fanatic, so just to have a small part in the relay is a terrific feeling and it is a privilege to be a part of it.”

Freeland said while it will be different closer to the event, the nerves were not bothering him yet.

“They are not too bad at the moment, but when I am standing there waiting for it to come through, there will be a few butterflies no doubt,” he said.

The avid tennis player said the moment was not lost on him with only a select few people selected to carry the baton in the region.

“It has just dawned on me recently, I will be representing Stawell at the relay and that is a good feeling,” he said.

“To play a small part in the first Commonwealth Games in Australian in 12 years is a big honour.” 

He said he is unsure how big the crowd will be but he will have support on the day. “My wife and kids will be there, that is the most important thing on the day,” he said. “Hopefully it is a big crowd, I imagine it will be and to hear the other people’s stories that are also involved will be great.”

The relay will conclude at Alexandra Oval with the Ararat Rural City Council set to host a community celebration.  It will start following the relay’s end with Shane Kelly set to bring the baton through into the oval around 5.30pm.

Kelly will be involved in a Q&A session as part of the community event.