Highlander announced as Queen's baton bearer

In 1958 Victor Schweikert competed in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, in 2018 he will be part of the Commonwealth Games once again. 

Mr Schweikert will be the only Highlander to take part in the prestigious Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the games.

QUEEN'S RELAY: Bowral's Victor Schweikert will bear the baton in the Queen's Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Madeline Crittenden.

QUEEN'S RELAY: Bowral's Victor Schweikert will bear the baton in the Queen's Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Madeline Crittenden.

Now 80, Mr Schweikert won a silver medal for rowing at age 21 during the British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

“I’d been rowing since I was about 15 years old,” he said. 

“We had a very good crew, I think I was in the right place at the right time.”

The baton is due to arrive in Brisbane on Christmas Eve.

By then it will have travelled 230,000 kilometres across Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe since it left Buckingham Palace in March.

Mr Schweikert will be part of the Wollongong celebration ceremony in February. 

“It’s a big honour,” he said. 

When he found out he would be a baton bearer, Mr Schweikert said he was a “bit shocked.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the people from different walks there.”

“It will be great to represent the Highlands.”

Baton bearers will travel between 200 metres and one kilometre at the event. 

“When they asked me how long it would take me to get 200 metres I said ‘a few minutes’, I’ll be going at my own pace,” Mr Schweikert said. 

At 80 years young, age will be no barrier for Mr Schweikert. 

“I never thought I’d make it to 80,” he said. 

“When you’re 40 you think oh I’ll live another 20 years but here I am at 80.”

“You can’t do everything you used to but I’m in good health, I think I’ve got a few more years left in me.”

The purpose of the 40,000km relay is to transport the Queen’s message to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on April 4, and Mr Schweikert holds the opportunity with a great sense of pride.