Argyll and Bute's baton-bearers bring Commonwealth excitement

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Published Date: 

2 Apr 2014 - 16:11

SEVERAL talented people from across Argyll and Bute have been chosen to take part in the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Argyll and Bute residents were among the thousands of Scottish people who learned on Monday 31 March that they had been selected as baton-bearers.

Each baton-bearer was chosen by an independent panel which considered a number of factors including achievements against the odds, mentoring of young people, contributions to community and youth sport and making a difference in local communities.

There are school students, sports coaches, volunteers and others from many different walks of life - but who all now share in the honour of taking part in the build-up to the Commonwealth Games.

They will be among the 4,000 baton-bearers from each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas who will join the relay in more than 400 communities for 40 days, to share the excitement of the Commonwealth Games countdown with as many people across the country as possible.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Community and Culture, Councillor Robin Currie, was delighted to hear that local people will have their chance to shine in the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay.

He said: “Excitement about the Commonwealth Games is really starting to build up now and I can only imagine how thrilled Argyll and Bute’s baton-bearers feel. It is a huge honour and a fitting acknowledgement of the contribution that each one of these remarkable people has made to their communities. They have achieved amazing things and are truly inspirational. I am sure that their part in the Commonwealth Games will become a treasured memory for many years to come. Congratulations to you all.”

The Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton Relay will be in Argyll and Bute on Sunday 13th July. A much-loved tradition of the Commonwealth Games, it will see people from communities across Scotland joining together to carry the iconic Commonwealth baton, holding a special message from Her Majesty the Queen.

The baton will pass through the hands of around 100 baton-bearers each day of the relay before reaching Glasgow in time for the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, where Her Majesty the Queen will read her message aloud.

Case studies - Argyll and Bute's baton-bearers

These case studies of some of Argyll and Bute's baton-bearers have been provided by Glasgow 2014 and come from the nominations made by local communities.

Joanna Martin
As the result of an accident, Joanna was rendered paralysed from the waist down.  This has not stopped her from competing in various sports – half-marathons on her hand bike, rowing, kayaking and sailing.  She has also become an inspirational organiser for her Local Challenger sailing group, encouraging others with disabilities to take to the water.  She is an active member of Scottish Spinal Injuries Society and has ensured the progression of a number of its projects in the local area.

Emily Brown
Emily is a keen sportswoman and currently represents Dunadd ladies team. For the past year she has also been promoting women’s shinty as a volunteer with the club's primary school age group. She was selected by her peers at Lochgilphead High School to become one of the school's young ambassadors and has thus far carried out her role very well. This role has involved setting up a 5 a-side football league and helping to organise a sports competition to raise awareness of World Aids Day. Emily is also a sports leader and assists with various after schools sports clubs in Mid Argyll.

Bill MacCallum           
Bill MacCallum has coached youngsters for more than 30 years, officially forming Mid Argyll Athletic Club in 1984.  He later set up a similar club on Mull and continues to travel there on a regular basis from Lochgilphead to assist in coaching. He organises athletics competitions involving youngsters from Lochgilphead, Kintyre, Oban and Mull each year. Bill MacCallum was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to sport in Argyll and Bute.
Paul Kerr         
A former Royal Marine Commando, Paul has battled with MS for many years, never letting it get the better of him. His strength, integrity and character have enabled him to inspire local townsfolk to be the best they can be. He has been the driving force in bringing open water swimming to the area and has twice completed the swim across the Firth of Clyde. Despite his body not responding as he would like, he pushes himself further and further, with his smile never far from his face. Without Paul's ongoing encouragement many of his fellow open water swimmers would never have dipped a toe, let alone swim in the sea, resulting in year round training, which for many has become a passion.

Colin Millar      
Colin is a truly inspiring young man, sports ambassador and role model. In 2012 Colin was selected to become a member of the sportscotland young people's panel, giving a voice for young people to help shape the future of sport. Colin has truly flourished in his high profile volunteer role, supporting a range of local and national groups including the sportscotland board, community sports hubs and Argyll Young Ambassadors, offering business support, feeding back ideas and bringing a passion for sport that has inspired a huge number of individuals and community groups. He is totally dedicated and passionate about sport.