Rising cyclist stirs up Games passions
WITH the Queen's Baton Relay about to usher in Commonwealth Games fever on Monday, there was never a better time for rising Sunshine Coast cycling endurance star Kristina Clonan to inspire a future generation.
Kristina, 19, visited Noosaville State School, to fire up and inspire these youngsters' passion for sport and in particular the Commonwealth Games less than a fortnight away on the Gold Coast.
The national U23 criterium women's champion was there as part of 'QAS4Schools' initiative of the Department of Sport in collaboration with the Queensland Academy of Sport.
Council is looking to pull out all stops to ensure the local baton runners are given rock star receptions at Tewantin's Read Park and Noosa Main Beach ahead of the Games which were last held in Australia in Melbourne in 2006 - not long after Kristina of Buderim had turned eight.
"If these kids can be inspired by some of the Games events (like the baton relay) and be inspired by some of the athletes it's definitely a plus,” Kristina said.
"The Commonwealth Games being right in our backyard it's definitely something to support and to get around to events if you can.
"I've never been to a Commonwealth Games of course and it's very exciting to have the first one I've ever experienced, right in our state so it's awesome.”
Kristina also helped inspire these kids into "pretty much living a healthy and active life”.
She started riding compet- itively when she was 14.
"I was doing athletics and just needed a cross trainer, so went into it from there. I like the speed of the velodrome and I like the opportunities that there are for cycling living in Australia,” she said.
Part of the fun of the day was HPE teacher Shane Luhrs and the sports captains doing a Q&A session with Kristina before challenging her to a race using Prep tricycles.
Council was on hand to help build up the excitement for the baton relay which culminates in the special message from the Queen being read at the opening ceremony by Prince Charles on April 4.