Borobi’s hype-man and number one fan Sid Mathur has been with him every step of the way. (ABC Gold Coast: Damien Larkins)
Commonwealth Games mascot Borobi is capturing attention and hearts the world over and one man has been riding the wave of Games love with him.
Wherever he goes, all eyes are on the giant, blue surfing koala.
Along for the ride have been his support crew including Borobi’s self-proclaimed “hype man” mascoteer Sid Mathur.
Mr Mathur said he was blown away by the experience and the love on show.
“Kids, adults, in politics, athletes, schools, anywhere and everywhere Borobi is, he’s swarmed,” Mr Mathur said.
“It’s just cool to see that people have adopted him as their own.
“To walk into a room behind him and have that reception is absolutely awesome.”
Although Borobi was always centre of attention, Mr Mathur said he did not feel like he was in the mascot’s shadow.
As Borobi was thrust into the international spotlight, so was Mr Mathur, into a role he stumbled across.
“I was a lawyer in a past life, and a professional dancer while I was doing that,” he said.
“I actually auditioned to be Borobi’s backup dancer.”
During the audition he happened to mention he had also done some MC work and organisers had another role in mind for him.
“They called me in, Borobi and I hit it off … you’ve got to see if you gel,” he said.
“The rest is history really.”
Sid Mathur says launching the Queen’s Baton in London with Borobi was surreal. (Supplied: GOLDOC)
Mr Mathur has travelled the world as Borobi’s right-hand man and number one fan.
It’s been a tour full of big, once-in-a-lifetime moments; including launching the Queen’s Baton in London alongside Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
“[It was] in one word: surreal,” he said.
“It was literally like having a lucid dream.”
“Standing there with the palace behind us, looking out over the circle and just seeing swarms of people.
“Then having Borobi step out in his sharp tuxedo.”
The connection and interactions with Borobi have been engaging and authentic — he often acted as mouthpiece for the quiet koala.
“You had your bowtie on and everything,” he reminisced with Borobi.
“We had matching bowties, didn’t we?”
The most memorable moments were the personal ones, Mr Mathur said.
Moments like visiting children in hospital.
“Those are beautiful.”
“Just to see these kids that were completely captured and enamoured by the whole concept of the Commonwealth Games.
“They’re making their own Queen’s Batons and have their own little Borobis.
“To be a part of that and help them feel that love and feel that joy and forget why they’re in that hospital room for that small moment is absolutely incredible.”
With the Games underway, the already hectic pace had quickened.
“It feels like we’re now at the epic sprint at the end of a marathon.”
“For two years Borobi and I have been rocking around and getting everyone excited for the games … we couldn’t believe that it’s here.”
“To have all the athletes, all the officials, everyone around the world that have been working, dedicating their whole lives some of them, to this moment.”
“To be here and share that excitement with them, it’s indescribable,” he said.
There was still a lot to be done between now and the finish line with people to meet and opportunities to build excitement.
Sid puts his ear close to Borobi again and listens attentively.
“He’s welcoming you all to the Gold Coast,” he said.
“Borobi is so excited to meet each and every one of you.”
If the games crowd is any measure, the feeling was clearly mutual.
Borobi and Sid build excitement and warm up the crowd before events at the Commonwealth Games. (ABC Gold Coast: Damien Larkins)