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Locals represent the Whitsundays at games

COMMONWEALTH VOLUNTEERS: Catherine Welsh, Andrew Welsh, Joanne Andison, David Hinschen and Lee-Anne Hinschen will be officials at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
COMMONWEALTH VOLUNTEERS: Catherine Welsh, Andrew Welsh, Joanne Andison, David Hinschen and Lee-Anne Hinschen will be officials at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

WHITSUNDAYS unsung heroes have been selected for the highest honour.

Five of the region's locals are going to Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

But you won't find them among our rising stars on the track, on the court or in the pool but instead in the faces who make the competition tick.

And each of them is a volunteer, people who have committed hours upon hours for the love and survival of their sport.

Whitsunday Athletic Club's Andrew Welsh, David Hinschen, Catherine Welsh and Lee-Anne Hinschen, as well as Bowen Athletics Club's Joanne Andison were part of the

177 Australians who were chosen to officiate next April.

Lee-Anne Hinschen first got involved in athletics because of her children competing and now long after they have retired from the sport she has volunteered her time across Australia and overseas.

"I'm a horizontal jumps B level official,” she said.

"In 2012 I went to Tahiti and I've officiated many Oceania events as well but this will be my first Commonwealth Games.”

For Catherine Welsh however, this will be her second Games after she travelled to Melbourne for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

When she isn't working at Proserpine hospital as a physio, Catherine can be found flying all over the world to classify paralympic athletes into competition classes.

"I've been in the role 10 years now,” she said.

"It's pretty special to have five of us from the Whitsundays, we have a lot of talent and dedication here, especially considering we have five officials going and by comparison Tasmania has six.

"We all pay our own way to every event we officiate and we don't get paid.

"This is the first time we are getting flights and accommodation covered.

"This is a big thing for such a little club.”

Topics:  athletics commonwealth games gold coast whitsundays


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