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Arran hosts the Queen's Baton Relay

Posted on 22 Jun 2022

Arran residents had the chance to be part of the traditional Queen’s Baton Relay on Sunday, ahead of this year’s Commonwealth Games.

The much-anticipated 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 Councillor and Provost Anthea Dickson attended alongside a host of local community groups, sporting clubs, residents and visitors.

The Provost 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.

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."

North Ayrshire Councillor Alan Hill, Cabinet Member for Communities and Islands commented: “Thank you to the residents and visitors who came along to the Queen’s Baton Relay visit to Arran.

“The afternoon was a brilliant opportunity to experience first-hand the inspiring community spirit of Arran’s sports clubs and dedicated volunteers. It was great to have everyone coming together to celebrate the Commonwealth Games and the joy of sport for all ages and abilities. Thank you to everyone who took part and contributed to what was a very memorable day indeed.”

Image credit: Getty Images