MOURA swim coach and mother-of-five Sarah Morris said she was "super duper” excited to be taking part in the iconic 388-day journey the Commonwealth Games baton will make on its way to the Opening Ceremony on the Gold Coast next year.
Ms Morris, who is a director and swim teacher at Moura Memorial Pool, was nominated for the national honour by a friend who described her smile as "infectious” and her campaigning for water safety as "passionate”.
With 3800 other Australians, Ms Morris was this week named as a bearer in the 40,000km relay where each participant will carry the baton about 200 metres.
She said she would be bringing the baton into Duaringa on March 23, and she was excited to be able to show her children on a map the journey the baton would be making.
It is due to arrive in Brisbane on Christmas Eve, by which time it will have travelled across Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe since leaving Buckingham Palace in March.
"The baton itself is such a fantastic representation of a community. It unites us, and it is wonderful to know our world can still get on,” she said.
"I'm hoping to go to the opening ceremony to show the children the enormity of where the baton has been and what it's for, and how many people are doing this together.”
Ms Morris said that contributing to her local community was "really important”.
"And being a part of community means getting out there and doing things for everybody. It's bigger than yourself,” she said.
She said she was a wholehearted advocate for water safety, especially for infants and under-fives.
Over the past 18 months, Ms Morris has been creating a culture of "wellness through water” by promoting the Moura pool as a place for community members to come together.
"People can exercise and chat, and it's a place where there's no judgement.
"The community that we create is a safe place to be, somewhere where you're not rushed and you can utilise the water to be able to live freely, and pain-free. Everybody can benefit from the water - everyone aged from six months old to 109.”
"The water has many different qualities that allow our bodies to work with ease, by taking the gravity out of our bodies. It helps our mental health, people with disabilities, and anyone with general aches and pains. And it's good for mindfulness.
"Being in the water gives you a big step forward in being able to create an environment where you can relax.”
She said it was crucial for all Australians - whether living in rural areas or closer to the coast - to respect the water and to learn water safety.
With her friend and Banana Shire councillor Brooke Leo, Ms Morris has also been organising and hosting Moura's Biggest Morning Tea, a popular event that has raised more than $65,000 for the Cancer Council Queensland over the past five years.
"But we only facilitate that,” she said. "The money raised is the generosity of our community, our wider community and our greater district.
"It blows us away every year.
"We always end up crying into our champagne ... every year.”
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