Beaudesert girl Matilda Hanson has done her hometown proud, carrying the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games baton through Bethesda in Wales.
Nobody was prouder of Matilda than her grandmother, Maureen Hanson, who tipped the Beaudesert Bulletin off about Matilda’s exciting Games involvement abroad.
Matilda, 11, was one of several children from her school, Ysgol Penybryn, selected to carry the baton on 29 June as it made its way to Birmingham in time for the Games.
The Bulletin caught up with Matilda and her grandmother when the family came to Beaudesert in July for their first visit since before Covid.
It was a big visit for Matilda, her parents Tony and Llinos and her big brother Tomos, who have lived abroad in Wales – where Llinos is originally from – for two and a half years.
Before they moved overseas, Matilda and Tomos were involved with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, sharing in community celebrations on Tamborine Mountain.
Matilda said her more recent Bethesda baton experience was one to remember.
“We went from our school over there to the high school and we each got to hold it for about five minutes,” she said.
“There were cameras and news reporters and radio, and we were on the BBC news.
“There were about 12 police officers, all undercover in off duty clothes, following us so the baton was safe.”
Matilda enjoys a bit of sport herself, including gymnastics and cricket, and looks forward to tuning into the Commonwealth Games with her family.
She said returning to Beaudesert for a visit with her grandmother felt kind of like coming home.
“We’ve been out for walks to the park, been out shopping a bit, there’s been a lot of Aussie food like party pies, Tim Tams, melting moments, all the good stuff,” she said.
The family enjoyed having a big get together at Mrs Hanson’s home, getting photos together and soaking up some Queensland winter sun during the visit.
Mrs Hanson said she loved the family’s time together.
“It’s been lovely to have them and of course there’ll be buckets of tears when they leave, but we’ve made all these memories together,” she said.