THE chance to be involved in the Queen’s Baton Relay has been described as a once in a lifetime opportunity for Camperdown’s Ross McIlveen.
The local chiropractor will carry the baton in Ballarat along Victoria Street next Tuesday at 1.09pm.
McIlveen said he was looking forward to the event, knowing all too well just how fortunate he is to be selected as a participant.
“It’s pretty special for sure,” he said.
“If you look at the numbers, there’s only 3800 people doing it across the whole of Australia and if you divide that by the population, you’re looking at point something of a per cent who are lucky enough to do it.
“It’ll be a once in a lifetime opportunity I suppose.”
McIlveen’s wife Glenda took the time to fill in the required form in order to nominate her husband for the event, in the off chance that he was selected.
Once his nomination was accepted, McIlveen said there was a further process that he had to go through.
“Glenda nominated me and looking at the form, it basically asked why you were interested in doing it and to prove something I had done for the community,” he said.
“I thought, well, 17 years with Little Aths is a fairly long stint and athletics is such a big part of the Games.
“So we sat down and nutted out the 100 words and submitted it and they accepted me.
“From that point, it was just a matter of ticking all the boxes and completing all the required checks before they allocated me to a random spot.”
Another part of the event McIlveen said will be thrilling will be who he passes the baton onto at the completion of his leg.
He will hand the baton to four-time Olympian, Jared Tallent, who won gold in the 50 kilometre walk at the London Olympics in 2012.
“Because it isn’t coming to Camperdown, they chose Ballarat for me and then they gave me the other details like where I’ll start and finish and who I will pass it on to,” McIlveen said.
“I run down Victoria Street, past McDonald’s and Hogs Breath Cafe and give the baton to Jared Tallent.”
With the Commonwealth Games set to commence on the Gold Coast in April, McIlveen said he would keep an eye on proceedings.
He said he attended Melbourne’s staging of the event as a spectator in 2006 and said he was unlucky to miss attending the event this year.
He hoped to attend the Games in his spare time from presenting at a sports chiropractors’ conference on the Gold Coast, which was originally scheduled for the last week of the Games.
However, organisers of that conference have now pushed it back a week, as a result of the clash with the Games.
“I went to Melbourne in 2006 and I really enjoyed that,” McIlveen said.
“No doubt I will take a fair bit of notice while it is going on.
“Ironically, I go to the Gold Coast a week after the Games for a sports chiropractors’ conference.
“I’ll probably get to see the clean-up but not the Games itself.”
Supporting McIlveen on the day will be a number of people, including his family and an old primary school friend.
“Glenda is going up, but I’m not sure if my daughter Lauren is taking the day off school,” McIlveen said.
“One of my support crew that will be there was the girls’ house captain at primary school at Gunnedah in New South Wales, who now lives in Ballarat.
“I was the boys’ house captain, so she’s coming to be part of my support crew, 43 years after we were at school together.
“And I assume a few of the Little Athletics people based in Ballarat will be there.”
The Queen’s Baton Relay started at Buckingham Palace in London in March last year as part of a 388 day journey through all the Commonwealth nations and territories that will conclude on April 4 at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.