DCSIMG

‘Extraordinary’ Scots take baton for Glasgow 2014

Sir Chris Hoy carries the baton in London last October. Picture: PA

Sir Chris Hoy carries the baton in London last October. Picture: PA

  • by MARTYN McLAUGHLIN
 

A TEENAGER with cerebral palsy who has won medals in a range of sports and a wheelchair rugby player who has inspired others to take up the game are among the “extraordinary” Scots who will carry the symbol of the Commonwealth Games.

Thousands of people will today learn they have secured a place in the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of this summer’s eagerly-awaited multi-sport event in Glasgow.

Around 4,000 individuals will spirit the baton throughout Scotland on the final 40 days of its global tour of the nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

The chosen batonbearers from each of the country’s local authority areas will be notified today by e-mail as to whether their nominations have been successful.

After launching a search for people who have made a contribution to their community and inspired others, Glasgow 2014 organisers said they had been “overwhelmed and humbled” by the calibre of those individuals nominated.

The relay, which left Buckingham Palace in October last year and made a brief stop-off in Glasgow en route to India, will arrive in Edinburgh on 14 June before travelling the length and breadth of Scotland.

Around 100 people will carry the baton every day and it will arrive in Glasgow just before the Games begin on 23 July, concluding an epic 119,000 mile journey.

Organisers released details of a handful of people already confirmed as batonbearers yesterday.

They include Robert Miller, a 14-year-old from Dunoon who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age, and Elizabeth Ferris, 27, from Dundee, who founded a wheelchair rugby league club in the city.

Another successful nominee, Alan Stewart, described hisselection as an honour that would allow him to highlight a service that saved his life and allowed him to continue to participate in sport.

The 50-year-old from Eddleston in Peebleshire underwent a kidney transplant in 2009. Since then, he has been committed to raising awareness for organdonation.

Together with his wife, Susan, he is completing 100 sporting challenges to celebrate their 50th birthdays.

After learning he would help carry the baton, Mr Stewart said: “It’s an honour to be nominated as a batonbearer, so when I learnt I was being selected I was so excited.

“My transplant transformed my life. I’ve been given the chance to enjoy sport again, in a way that I did before my kidneys failed.”

David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, said: “We want to congratulate those batonbearers who will be carrying the Queen’s Baton across its 40-day journey through Scotland.

“We’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the hard work, courage and perseverance of so many inspiring people.”

Michael Cavanagh, chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said: “The athletes striving to be selected for Team Scotland will be truly inspired by the determination, courage and selflessness shown by all theselected batonbearers, and their commitment to helping others.

“It is fantastic that they are being recognised and rewarded with a coveted place in Scotland’s leg of the Queens Baton Relay and we thank them for their enthusiasm and support.

“We are confident the Queen’s Baton Relay will get the whole country behind the Games and Team Scotland in particular, as we collectively make our final journey to Glasgow 2014.”

Shona Robison MSP, minister for Commonwealth Games and sport, added: “It is a truly fitting way to celebrate and recognise those everyday champions who do incredible things for the lives of those around them, and who have made an exceptional contribution to their local community, in particular through sport or their work with young people.”

Batonbearers were selected across each of Scotland’s local authorities by an independent panel chaired by Commonwealth Games Scotland.

 

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