For Miriam Vale baton bearer, Lyn Harms, the opportunity to be a baton bearer is extra special, because her late husband, Owen, was also nominated:
“My husband was also nominated for his huge involvement in our community. He would say: ‘Sport is the glue that holds a community together’ amongst other sayings, that motivated people around him to build better facilities for sport within our community, over a 20 year period.”
“Owen passed away in August last year after giving so much to his community and job,” Lyn said.
“He was excited about being nominated and hoped he would be selected. He would have loved the opportunity to carry the baton for his community.”
“It will be an emotional, but proud occasion with my son and daughter there to support me. In recent months, I have relied on my small support network but most importantly, sport, like touch football and walking, have provided me with a healthy outlet,” Lyn said.
Lyn was nominated for driving active after-school activities to provide opportunities for Miriam Vale students, something she has done for over a decade.
“I can’t speak more highly of enjoying and supporting the opportunities our community provides rather than thinking about what we don’t have.”
Lyn certainly walks that talk, and for her, the baton relay will come only two weeks after organising Miriam Vale’s Clean Up Australia Day, and one week after a 60 km Manly to Bondi Coast Trek, fundraising for Fred Hollows Foundation.
“I have always been a keen supporter of sport, being active and eating healthy. This, for the most part, has been through my involvement at school but I have also been a strong devotee of our Miriam Vale Social Touch Football group,” Lyn said.
“We started our Social Touch 20 years ago and our ‘touch addicts’ have kept it going – a proven sustained community sport. Staff often joke or have bets about how quickly I promote ‘touch football’ to new staff that arrive at our school.
“I just want others to experience the value of being a part of the fun and fitness and enjoy their time here in our community.
“The touch group use our fantastic facilities at the Gary Larson Oval, provided by the GLOEG group and many fundraisers and funding over the years, of which the touch group has always been a part of. Over the last 20 years, I have often been in the background supporting and organising volunteers for these events.”
“At school level, I believe my involvement with the Active after-school activities has driven my nomination. For over 10 years I have managed our program which is based on staff, including myself, volunteering time to provide opportunities for our students. I apply for funding through the Sporting Schools, but these funds have been used to purchase equipment, cover facility costs and provide some professional coaching,” Lyn said.
“Being a rural school, distances restrict the ability for families to be involved in club/team sports and this program has helped students be involved in sport, learning new skills, having fun and being active.”
“I am very appreciative to all the staff over the years who have volunteered their time and valued active healthy lives by supporting our school community and providing a range of sporting activities free to our students.”