It was a celebration of culture and sport this morning as olympian weightlifter Richie Patterson presented the Queen’s Baton at Te Mānukanuka a Hoturoa Marae in Auckland.
“We were welcomed onto the Marae- and it was fantastic- by the kaumātua and handed the baton over to Holly Robinson who is going to be taking it down to Queenstown and throughout the Christchurch and Kaikoura,” says Patterson.
The baton relay which started at Buckingham Palace in London will make its way through 70 countries.
“There’s going to be a lot of community events happening over the next few days involving the Queen’s Baton and the message that it’s delivering of bringing everyone together, the excitement leading into the Commonwealth Games. So get involved, get down to the local events, it will be lots of fun,” says Patterson.
Patterson won gold at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
This year he’s hoping for another.
“I’m in great shape. I’m just putting a lot of hard work in over the summer, trying to keep my body weight up, so it’s perfect time for Christmas to roll around. I'll be eating all of the food and then training it off with all the weights that I'll be doing.”
The baton will make its journey down to the South Island before arriving at its final destination in the Gold Coast next week.