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Queen's Baton welcomed with Nevis swing and South Island scenery

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

After leaving Auckland this morning the Queen’s Baton was met in Queenstown by Her Excellency the Governor General.

The Baton and Dame Patsy Reddy made their way to Arrowtown Primary school, where hundreds of students performed a haka and waiata to welcome the congregation.

"It’s great to celebrate the Queen’s Baton and I can’t imagine a more beautiful setting to welcome it to New Zealand," said Dame Patsy.

"I’m very pleased to be a Baton bearer and I wish it well on the rest of its journey around New Zealand ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games."

Athletes Holly Robinson, Matt Randall and Donna Wilkins (nee Loffhagen) also accompanied the Baton to the school.

Robinson (javelin) said it was great to see a talented bunch of budding athletes.

"Meeting those kids was an absolute blast, they loved learning about the Baton and the Commonwealth Games and I think the visit will have inspired them to put everything into their sports."

The children ran a relay with the Baton and athlete Donna Wilkins (netball, basketball) enjoyed the friendly race.

"It was great to see how receptive the kids were. It’s a sporty school and given how much they loved looking at my medals we may have some future Commonwealth Games athletes in this bunch!"

The Baton was then flown to Cecil Peak for a photo opportunity overlooking Queenstown before being taken on the Nevis swing by Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and Olympic track cyclist Matt Randall.

The swing reaches speeds of 120kph in its 300m arc and left Randall worrying about his blood pressure.

"I was very, very nervous," he said.

"I’m still shaking now but we got there!"

This evening the Baton is being hosted at a private function by the Governor General before travelling to Kaikoura tomorrow.

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