GAMES ON: (Front) Brian Harrington, Helen Rekdale, Liz Smith, Abbie Wilkins, Sara Lewis, Vicki Hauser, Helen Jorgensen, Nola Hedger, (back) Stephen Waddell, Brett Davis and Carol McNaughton.
GAMES ON: (Front) Brian Harrington, Helen Rekdale, Liz Smith, Abbie Wilkins, Sara Lewis, Vicki Hauser, Helen Jorgensen, Nola Hedger, (back) Stephen Waddell, Brett Davis and Carol McNaughton. JOY BUTLER

Trading Fraser for Gold coasts

RUNNING from April 4-15, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation will bring people from all walks of life together to celebrate the best in world sport.

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This year, 6000 athletes and team officials from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories will descend on theGold Coast and events cities Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville to share in the celebration of sport, entertainment and culture.

This is the largest sporting event to be staged in Australia this decade and will feature the biggestintegrated sports program in Commonwealth Games history, comprising 18 sports and seven para-sports.

Beach volleyball, para triathlon and women's rugby sevens will make their Commonwealth Games debuts and, for the first time at a Commonwealth Games, an equal number of men's and women's medal events will be contested.

Of the more than 100,000 people expected to visit the Gold Coast in April, 54 volunteers from the Wide Bay region will join them.

Those 54 volunteers made it through a somewhat gruelling audition process, with more than 47,000 applications received and 21,000 applicants interviewed, about 15,000 volunteer offers were accepted.

Of those 54 volunteers, Fraser Coast Life and Style managed to catch up with 13 Maryborough and Hervey Bay locals, including two staff members from the Fraser Coast Chronicle.

For Hervey Bay's Carol McNaughton, it has been 18 years in the making, having missed her opportunity to volunteer at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

"I was going through as a massage therapist then but I had to withdraw my application because I was due to have a baby at the same time," Carol said.

"So I had that baby and we watched it on TV.

 

The special 'thank you' note inside the jacket.
The special 'thank you' note inside the jacket. {JOY BUTLER}

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"That child now has just recently finished Year 12 and this is the year that it was going to be all about me.

"When the opportunity came up last year, I was like, I'm going to have a crack at this."

Carol believes it was her close ties to the sport that landed her the position of triathlon access control for teams.

In addition to being a sports massage therapist, Carol competes in triathlon and is studying to become a technical officer for the sport.

"I am feeling extremely grateful that everything lined up and my application popped out," she said.

"I guess it had something in there that made them think 'we need this one as part of the team' and because triathlon is currently my main sport and my main focus.

"Not only am I an athlete, I'm also working my way through to be a technical official as well, so I guess there was a double interest for them.

"I have an understanding of the sport.

"I play the sport.

"I know the rules of the sport and I guess I am an asset of the team."

Carol said it would not have mattered if she had ended up at lawn bowls but she was extremely happy to be placed within the sport she was so passionate about.

She said she was very excited to be part of what is "about to unravel".

"I am actually helping shape this enormous, orchestrated event that has never taken place before," Carol said.

"I guess it is coming into to an exciting unknown of what we're about to stage for potentially the world to see.

"I think if anyone ever had the opportunity, I think just the butterflies and that excitement that you have in your belly."

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OUR VOLLIES

  • Abbie Wilkins - Press Operations
  • Nola Hedger - Table Tennis Team Member
  • Sara Lewis - Road Race
  • Stephen Waddell - Shooting
  • Vicki Hauser - Sport Competition team member triathlon
  • Brett Davis - Badminton Field of Play Team Member
  • Helen Rekdale - Spectator Services
  • Brian Harrington - Sport Competition team member triathlon
  • Carol McNaughton - Triathlon sport competition team member access control
  • Liz Smith sports - entries at the village
  • Helen Jorgensen - netball at the convention centre