Games baton honourfor Stuart, Howlett

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Two Hedland locals will join the thousands of other Australians to carry the Queen’s baton on its journey to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Ten-year-old Stuart Wilson and former Mayor Kelly Howlett will be among 3600 others to bear the baton across the country, including Olympians Dawn Fraser, Grant Hackett and Sally Pearson.

The baton will arrive in WA on February 22 and will spend six days travelling through 19 communities, starting in Albany and finishing in Karratha.

Stuart, who was nominated for the opportunity by mum Monique, has become a mini legend in his school, St Cecilia’s Catholic Primary School.

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Despite being a member of little athletics, the Hedland Gymnastics Club and being a squad swimmer, Stuart said he wanted to walk his leg when it came to make the moment last as long as possible.

“I’m really excited that I get to have this opportunity and I get to go and be one of the people to hold the baton,” he said.

“When the deputy principal told the whole school I felt really special because I got to stand up and finally tell everyone.”

Being the bubbly and energetic child he is, Stuart said the hardest part about the whole process was keeping it a secret until the official announcement last week.

“Telling my friends was fun because everyone was like ‘I can’t believe it’ which was really cool,” he said.

Stuart will also be joined by former mayor and only other Hedland representative Kelly Howlett in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The two Hedland representatives will also join Amanda Azzopardi, Maddison Baker, Leah Black, Matthew Bushby, Steven Cook, Stuart Dale, Adam Gillespie, Marcus Hadley, Nick Hall, Tracy Kitching, Gavin O’Brien, Amelia Redden, Jessica Richards, Gemma Rodgers, Dale Scott, Natasha Shires, Brooke Turner and Russell Turner.

The two locals will get their 15 minutes of international fame on February 27 when the baton arrives in the Pilbara.

Stuart and Ms Howlett will join the 18 other representatives in Karratha.

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