2006 Commonwealth Games Baton Relay
March the 3rd 2006 saw the Queen’s Baton for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games visit Geelong on its way to the MCG opening ceremony in front of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and a hundred thousand spectators and the cream of the commonwealth’s athletes.
The Baton traveled from England where with a message from Her Majesty that she planned to read at the opening. The Geelong leg saw the baton head across Port Phillip Bay from a route from Frankston to the ferry. Once on our side of the bay, it took a route through Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale and onto Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads and Torquay before making a stop at our world famous Bells Beach and heading into central Geelong.
After some 159 kilometres of travelling for the day the Baton arrived at Eastern Beach to a large early awaiting crowd. There was some ceremonies conducted by City officials and Channel Nine celebrities before resting in our city over night.
The following day the relay left with Olympian Georgie Clarke from Geelong’s waterfront and started its journey down the west coast of Victoria but not before visiting Bannockburn, Inverleigh, Winchelsea and Colac.
Some of the local identities, celebrities and sports people to carry the Queen’s Baton through the Geelong region included TV personality Niky Buckley, Local commentator Ian Cover, Cats legend Billy Brownless and A Current Affair’s Tracey Grimshaw.
Geelong’s Arena was also one of the host stadiums for the Games with basketball being played there.