Scarborough: local sports stalwarts to hold baton in Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of 2018 Commonwealth Games


Norma Beer and Noel Patterson are going to be baton bearers in the Queen's Baton Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d475123
Norma Beer and Noel Patterson are going to be baton bearers in the Queen's Baton Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d475123

NORMA Beer and Noel Patterson are being rewarded for their dedication to Australian sport.

The pair is among those selected to participate in the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay when it arrives in Scarborough early next year.

Ms Beer, of Gwelup, was training as a nurse in the spinal injury unit when she volunteered at the 1962 Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in Perth.

She collected javelins and shot puts from the field and made beds at the athletes’ village, and found it inspiring to watch the athletes in action.

“As a young girl it was overawing just to see the way many people from all over the world competed in wheelchairs,” she said.

“It was something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”

After qualifying as a nurse, she accompanied the Australian medical team at numerous international events across 30 years, including the Paralympic Games in 1992 and 1996.

“It’s unbelievable the feeling of walking into a packed stadium,” she said.

“It just makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck.”

The 75-year-old worked on the spinal injury unit for 36 years and still volunteers with disabled sports.

She was awarded the Medal for the Order of Australia for her devotion to nursing and disabled sports in 2005, and was grateful to be part of next year’s relay.

“It’s absolutely amazing; I’ve been involved in sports for so long I thought it was the icing on the cake,” she said.

Trigg’s Noel Patterson (68) was the official chiropractor for the Australian team at four Commonwealth Games from 1986 to 1998 and was responsible for the national swimming and cycling teams.

“It’s fantastic, it’s hard work, close on 20 hours a day looking after 350 athletes,” he said.

“You get a lot of self satisfaction; it’s a lot of fun.”

Dr Patterson’s services to Australian sport garnered him the Medal for the Order of Australia and for the past 11 years, he has led a team of chiropractors to India to help people living in the country’s slums, as well as helping ensure education for children and assist women through empowerment programs.

He also founded The 3P Plan, which aims to stop 20,000 children worldwide dying each day from preventable diseases.

Pleased the Commonwealth Games were returning to Australia, Dr Patterson said it was exciting to be selected for the relay.

“It’s just nice to be involved again as I get towards the twilight of my career,” he said.

“It’s a real honour to be part of the baton relay.”

Ms Beer and Mr Patterson will join 16 other locals as the Queen’s Baton arrives in Scarborough on February 25, including City of Stirling selected representative Rahul Jegatheva (15), of Joondanna, and Trigg Paralympian Brant Garvey.

The baton will journey 40,000km around Australia before reaching the Gold Coast on April 4.

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