The efforts of Queensland team members at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have been acknowledged with the awarding of the Australian Sports Medal (ASM) at Government House in Brisbane.
Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland, welcomed team members to the ceremony in honour of their efforts and achievements at the Games.
“As Governor of Queensland, I am pleased and proud to present the Australian Sports Medal to those of you who represented our State and nation at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games,” Her Excellency said.
“My congratulations to all of you on your stunning achievements in Birmingham. You are a credit to your sporting organisations and communities, your State and your country.”
Team members in attendance included three-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist and bronze medallist Barrie Lester (lawn bowls), Birmingham 2022 bronze medallist Jacob Templeton PLY (swimming), and members of the gold medal winning netball, cricket and women’s rugby 7’s teams.
For Jacob, receiving the ASM was a privilege that cemented the incredible experience of the Games themselves, while recognising the milestone of all team members receiving the medal.
“It’s a huge honour and looking back on it one day, to say to my family and friends that I was one of the first people to receive that, is going to be such an amazing feeling and a really cool thing to be able to say,” Templeton said.
“To receive the ASM is really the icing on the cake after the surreal experience that was the Commonwealth Games and the opportunity to represent my country. In the moment, when you’re competing for your country, everything can flash before your eyes but when you get back and settle into everything, you have this huge milestone of an accolade and it puts everything into perspective and makes you think ‘wow, it’s a real achievement and honour’.”
“It’s going to be awesome to look forward and see, now that I’m retired, all the future Australian representatives and those at the Commonwealth Games, do their thing too, and do an amazing job for Australia, like I hope we did this year at the Commonwealth Games.”
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For Barrie, receiving the award was an emotional experience, one that encapsulated the pride and passion he has felt when competing for the Australian team.
“The Commonwealth Games mean everything to me; they’re the pinnacle of our sport and I wanted to play for Australia at the Commonwealth Games as soon as I took up Bowls as a kid,” Lester said.
“It was a humbling experience to be recognised and for me, quite emotional.”
Lakeisha Patterson OAM PLY (swimming), two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, echoed the statements of the other team members and further noted the prestige of the medal.
“It is always a privilege to represent Australia – whether as an athlete, coach, official or management staff… this medal encapsulates that spirit, and something every team member can be proud of for years to come.”
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Also in attendance was Anna Meares OAM, a key member of the Birmingham 2022 Team Executive, who was also recently announced as Chef de Mission for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Meares spoke to the hard work and determination of all team members, congratulating them on their tremendous efforts in being part of a Games that made history.
“The Australian Sport Medal is an honour that recognises the efforts and success of every single one of you,” said Meares.
“You showed great Aussie resilience and of that you should be so proud of yourselves.”
The Australian Sport Medal Ceremonies have been held in recognition of team members and will conclude with the final ceremony to acknowledge and celebrate the New South Wales members of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.