Jen ready to take the baton

November 01, 2017

Teacher, runner and cyclist Jennifer Sagaidak relaxing before she carries the Queen’s Baton in the Commonwealth Games Relay next February.

Yarrawonga local Jennifer Sagaidak is hoping her prep students will be out in full force to watch her carry the Queen’s Baton for the Yarrawonga leg of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games relay.

A kindergarten teacher at Sacred Heart Primary school in Yarrawonga, Jen is a recreational runner and cycler and says her 200m relay stint will be a breeze and an enjoyable experience.
Being chosen to carry the baton in her hometown was a massive surprise according to Jen.
“One of my girlfriends Steph Rodskey who is from Melbourne but is trying to move to Mulwala nominated me so it was really out of the blue and I didn’t expect it at all,” Jen said.
“I’m completely honoured that she’d even think of nominating me so I filled out the forms not thinking I’d get selected and it happened.”
Jen said she was most excited about her young students being able to see her in the relay.
“I’m excited for the day but I was more excited that the kids would get to see me and that I’d get to participate in the day,” Jen said.
Jen was born and bred in Yarrawonga and has a love for this town like no other.
This is a big reason why she likes to get involved in many activities and events happening around the town and will help out where she can.
Although not overly sporty Jen was nominated in recognition for the volunteer work she does in Yarrawonga and Mulwala and says that she will always give up her time to help somebody else.  
“I volunteer a fair bit but mainly through the Parish because I work at Sacred Heart,” Jen said.
“I volunteer at the church, bingo, multisport, the Yarrawonga show, events during the school holidays and the local cycling groups in Yarrawonga and Cobram.
“I give up a little bit of my time to help others.
“A lot of the things wouldn’t work if people weren’t willing to volunteer so I am always happy to lend a hand.”
It was the commitment she has to others that made her friend nominate her but Jen is humble when congratulated and asked about her batonbearer selection by friends in Yarrawonga.
“I don’t think I do anything extraordinary,” Jen said.
“I haven’t really thought much about it but now everyone knows they are all going, oh my god that’s so exciting, how did you get picked so now I’m like yeah it probably is a big deal.”
She shared the wonderful news of her batonbearer selection with her husband of 26 years Jason and the couple’s two daughters Sabrina, 23 and Lidija, 20.
Jen is sure to have a crowd cheering her on in February with many of the groups she volunteers for and school students from Sacred Heart Primary lining the streets to see her in action and congratulate her on her marvellous community work.

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