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Arran hosts the Queen’s Baton Relay

The Provost joined Active Schools, KA Leisure and staff from Connected Communities earlier this month for a day to remember in Arran.

Providing a warm welcome, they joined some of Arran’s most inspiring community sports clubs and volunteers to show their support for Team Scotland with the arrival of the much-anticipated Queen’s Baton Relay visit.

The afternoon provided a rare opportunity to celebrate the fast-approaching Commonwealth Games and see the iconic baton up close!

The long awaited visit took place on Sunday 19 June at The Ormidale Sports Pitches in Brodick where locals and visitors joined together to welcome the Queen’s Baton during a visit to the island.

Organised by North Ayrshire Council in partnership with KA Leisure, Commonwealth Games Scotland and Team Scotland, the visit highlighted the important role of sport and physical activity with an afternoon of fun activities where everyone was encouraged to get behind Team Scotland.

North Ayrshire Provost Anthea Dickson attended alongside a host of local community groups, sporting clubs, residents and visitors.

She commented: “Thank you to Commonwealth Games Scotland and Team Scotland for offering Arran residents and visitors the chance to be part of this rare and exciting Relay tradition.

“It was an amazing opportunity to see the exceptional craftsmanship and striking beauty of the baton up close and seeing everyone joining together for an exciting afternoon of activities was simply fantastic.

“As newly elected Provost, I was very excited to head over to Arran at the weekend to be part of this wonderful community focussed celebration. The feedback from the community was great and seeing so many taking part in the fun afternoon of sports, games and activities was heart-warming.

“Thank you to our Active Schools, Connected Communities and KA Lesiure colleagues who helped to make the day a great success and a special thank you to the local clubs who came along and gave up their time to create the special event. What an amazing example of Arran’s welcoming community spirit.”

During the visit, the Queen’s Baton was held by a group of remarkable individuals who have made a difference to the lives of others in their communities. The key individuals who had the opportunity to handle the Baton by way of recognition were:

  • Eleanor O’Donnell – Commonwealth and Badminton Scotland athlete from North Ayrshire. Eleanor will be competing at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Badminton and representing both her country and North Ayrshire.
  • Hollie Tattersfield – Long-time member of staff for Arran Youth Foundation who has had such a positive impact on the pupils from all across the island.
  • Liz McLean – Manager at the “big” co-op in Brodick. She has went above and beyond to get vital provisions to the island in times of Covid, inclement weather, disruptions etc. Liz has been awarded with the Medal of Honour of the British Empire (BEM) for her efforts.
  • Mark Nelson – Member of the RNLI Arran, Helm and Lifeboat Mechanic. One of the longest serving crew members, and a representative to the RNLI.
  • Abby Anderson – A volunteer and coach for Active Schools and our partners. Previous North Ayrshire Sports Academy ( NASA ) student and current Team Inspire member. Abby frequently coaches all over North Ayrshire with Active Schools and as a coach with KA Leisure.
  • Robyn Caldwell – Also an Active Schools coach and KA Leisure member of staff. Robyn coaches all over North Ayrshire and is a positive role model in her community.
  • Eilidh Kincaid – Current NASA student in Arran High School. Eilidh has recently just jointly won the Active School’s Commitment to Volunteering Award for going above and beyond in our schools. Eilidh not only coached her lunchtime clubs, but also stepped up to help coach the Netball team. Eilidh is fully committed to coaching and providing a positive experience to young people.
  • Mark Preston – A representative of the North Ayrshire Athletics Club, who do so much for the local young people of North Ayrshire. NAAC is a registered charity club run by volunteers, who, along with the new all-weather athletics track, allow inspiring athletes to participate and compete in Athletics across North Ayrshire.
  • Kenny Morrison – Runs the Ormidale Park as a volunteer; allowing the local clubs and their participants the chance to be active in their community. Kenny runs the Ormidale almost single handed on a voluntary basis.

A remarkable global journey…

After stopping off at the Falkland Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man in first three weeks of June, the Baton arrived at Edinburgh Airport on the afternoon of Friday, 17 June, 2022 for Scotland’s leg of the tour, starting in Inverness on Saturday 18 June, visiting Arran (Sunday 19 June), Ayrshire and Glasgow (Monday 20 June), Edinburgh on Tuesday 21 June then ending on Wednesday 22 June in the Borders and Dumfries.

It then travelled onward to Northern Ireland and Wales and is now covering the length and breadth of England ahead of the opening ceremony at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on 28 July 2022, with all 72 countries within the Commonwealth.

With a journey spanning 269 days, the Baton left the UK on 8 October 2021, travelling 140,000 kilometres in its epic global journey.

Find out more on the website here:

Jon Doig, Chief Executive at Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “The Baton arriving to Scotland marks a fantastic opportunity for our local communities, schools and athletes to engage with the Games and we are looking forward with great anticipation and excitement to welcoming it back to locations throughout the UK in the final build up to Birmingham 2022.

“We were keen to take the Baton to new locations – quite a challenge given the number of places the Baton visited ahead of Glasgow 2014 – and we are delighted to have been able to visit Arran this time round. The global journey will conclude at the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony where the final Baton bearer will return the Baton to Her Majesty The Queen.”

Held every four years, with a hiatus during World War II, the Commonwealth Games, have grown from featuring 11 countries and 400 athletes, to a global spectacle of 6,600 sports men and women from across 72 nations and territories.

With an aim to bring nations together in a colourful celebration of sport and human performance, the ‘Friendly Games’ are underpinned by the values of humanity, equality and destiny.

Video images credit: Getty Images

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