Margot Gorman is looking forward to seeing many friends and old students out in force as she carries the Queens Baton for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games relay to be held in Yarrawonga in February.
Margot had a teaching career spanning 50 years teaching infants, primary aged students and on occasion secondary students.
She was nominated by her daughter Sally as a form of ‘payback’ after Margot nominated her to carry the Olympic torch in Yarrawonga in 2000.
Sally also nominated Margot due to her 50 year-long teaching career and her drive for sport to be included in remote country schools.
“I was surprised to be nominated but I had nominated Sally for the Olympic baton bearing so she did it back for me,” Margot said.
“It’s very hard to get kids in little schools into different sports because we haven’t got the numbers for a team so I made sure I rang people up and said I have a kid here whose really good at let’s just say tennis and got them involved in sport teams in some way.”
Margot’s sporting hobbies in the past included playing tennis for Savernake and swimming which have partly continued as she now attends water aerobics in Barooga three times a week and a Yarrawonga gym for exercise classes.
“In my teaching career I was a great encourager of sport,” Margot said.
“I took a group of kids over and joined them with other schools to give them a chance as small areas such as Savernake had sporty families but not the numbers to initiate our own teams.”
Margot’s involvement in school sport included leading Oaklands Central school in PSSA sport events, helped combine Jeriberrios Aussie rules and netball teams, was the AFL NSW/ACT School Ambassador Primary School winner for the Western Riverina region in 2009, was a Royal Life Saving Swim teacher for the Department of Education and won the NEITA (National Excellence in Teaching Award) for the Rural Teacher of the year in 2002.
She was also chosen to be one of three teachers to represent Rural teachers on Andrew Denton’s ‘Enough Rope’ in 2003 after she won a rural teacher of the year award.
As well as being involved in sport at schools in the area, Margot and her kids are avid Richmond supporters, having a fantastic year with the tiger’s premiership win.
“We absolutely loved it, it was fantastic,” Margot said.
“My kids, 5 grandkids and I all attended the second qualifying final against Geelong and the preliminary final but weren’t able to get tickets to the big one.”
Before her move to Mulwala with husband John 13 years ago, Margot had always been involved in the Savernake community lending a hand and having an involvement in any community events Savernake would have.
Although not a born local to the area Margot married John in 1970 the year his family became 100 year Savernake locals.
Margot is recently retired having retired 3 years ago to look after her sick husband and said she spends a lot of time out and about staying active as she doesn’t want to stop just yet.
“I do a lot of lunches now,” Margot said.
“The national trust I’m involved in do lunch for all their meetings, the book club go for lunch a lot to discuss the books and the gym I attend have a lunch once a month.
“I’m joining in on as many things as I can so retirement is fun.”
Margot has celebrated the news of her baton bearer status with friends in the Yarrawonga area and her three kids- John, Craig and Sally and her five grandchildren.
She also said she’s excited to be involved in the baton bearer relay and is looking forward to doing it in her ‘hometown’.
“I am proud to have been chosen as it’s a great honour and I am very much looking forward to it,” Margot said.
“I think it’s great that the relay is coming to Yarrawonga as the Olympic one almost missed Yarrawonga and just went through Mulwala so it’s great to be recognised itself now.”
“I think it will be lovely, it’s really great. It inspires people into thinking about going to the games and if that’s a help to people deciding whether to go to the games or not that will be great.”
Margot will be joined by 11 other Yarrawonga Mulwala locals who will take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay passing through Yarrawonga on February 15, 2018.