Relay contingent rich in sports history

February 15, 2018

Three time Olympian Rhonda Cator and marathon runner Kathy Fuller were in charge of delivering the baton through town.

Greater Shepparton Sports Hall of Fame inductee Mike Scandolera was a popular choice to carry the baton.

Goulburn Valley netball ace Jacinta Todd lapped up her time holding the baton.

Shepparton Parkrun co-ordinator Allan Connolly enjoys his leg with the Queen's Baton.

Goulburn Valley identities from various sports and of different eras earned the opportunity to keep the Queen’s Baton moving through Shepparton yesterday.

Mike Scandolera was a popular choice to carry the baton, with the Commonwealth Games badminton gold medallist no stranger to the event.

Before the 2006 Melbourne Games, Scandolera brought the baton into the Shepparton Showgrounds, and was the final carrier during yesterday’s celebration.

Scandolera moved to the region from Gippsland when his parents brought a dairy farm in Congupna and continues to help out the Shepparton Badminton Association.

Another star of the same sport in Rhonda Cator also took part in yesterday’s baton run, having completed the same process two times before.

Along with Scandolera, she carried the baton as part of the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay from Benalla to Wangaratta, as well as running with the torch in preparation for the Sydney Olympics.

The Strathmerton product represented Australia in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics, while taking home a bronze medal with the women’s team as part of the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.

But being a part of an Australian team was not a prerequisite yesterday, with contributions to Goulburn Valley sport just as important.

Shepparton A-grade ace Jacinta Todd was chosen, with the 2014 Wellman Family medallist heavily involved in the junior development of players not just at the Bears, but across the state.

Having notched 100 Goulburn Valley League games last season, Todd also devoted time to being head coach of the Victorian 17-and-under side at the national championships.

Todd received the baton from Lloyd Freer, with the popular Mooroopna Golf Club member carrying the baton along Hawdon St.

Allan Connolly had no trouble during his run, with the Shepparton Parkrun co-ordinator passionate about keeping Goulburn Valley residents fit.

Kathy Fuller also did not raise a sweat as she aims to complete 12 marathons this year across every state.

Football coach Damien Saxon was involved, as was former state hockey player Kenneth Birkett and Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation volunteer of the year Alana Baldi.

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