edinburgh-castle

Queen’s Baton Relay batonbearers – The Route – Tryathon and the School Run – Diving – The Concert

Today the Queen’s Baton comes to Scotland for the first time and it starts off its journey across Scotla in Edinburgh. We are devoting our Five things today to the Queen’s Baton Relay to mark the start of the Scottish countdown to the Commonwealth Games which open on 23 July.

The Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton is scheduled to arrive in Scotland this morning in Coldstream before being welcomed to Edinburgh at Heriot-Watt University. The baton will travel throughout Edinburgh, spending the day at various locations and attractions in the city including Meadowbank Stadium and the Royal Commonwealth Pool, which will host the Glasgow 2014 diving competition, before reaching the Ross Bandstand for the Edinburgh Evening Celebrations.

Up to 4,000 batonbearers from all 32 local authorities in Scotland were notified in March this year that they would join the relay in more than 400 Scottish communities for 40 days.

Community batonbearers were selected by independent panels, who considered people’s achievements against the odds, their mentoring of younger people, contributions to community and youth sport, and those who make a difference through volunteering and community support.

For the first time in the history of any Queen’s Baton Relay, all 545 secondary schools in Scotland were invited to nominate a pupil to participate as a batonbearer.

Cllr Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh’s Festivals & Events Champion, said: “We are thoroughly looking forward to welcoming the baton to Edinburgh – and to Scotland – on 14 June. We have over 100 batonbearers, including a pupil from every secondary school, each of whom will play an important part in the celebrations taking place throughout the day. We’ve worked very hard with the organisers to send the baton to as many parts of the city as possible and to allow batonbearers to run through their own communities, cheered on by their friends and family. I was fortunate enough to be on the selection committee for Edinburgh and was hugely impressed with the standard of nominations. I have no doubt our batonbearers will do themselves and their city proud.”

Chosen for her inspirational work volunteering and raising money for children affected by cancer, Lynne McNicoll, founder of the Edinburgh charity It’s Good To Give, commented:- “I’m really delighted to be chosen to be a batonbearer. Welcoming the Baton to Scotland will an amazing opportunity and I just can’t wait. I’m currently in training for a five kilometre race which will hopefully help me get fit in time for the Queen’s Baton Relay!”

Kerry Renwick, selected batonbearer for Wester Hailes Education Centre, commented on being selected for her school:- “I am thrilled to have this amazing opportunity to be a baton bearer. It is an inspiring challenge and one I never thought I’d get to be part of. Now I am experiencing it and that is unbelievable. I have watched the baton travel through other countries and it’s exciting to think that will be me! I feel honoured to be a part of the Commonwealth Games and leave an encouraging legacy for all those pupils in my school to strive for the best.”

Laura Thomson, a Young Scot Legacy Ambassador for Glasgow 2014, coaches children and young adults of all abilities in various sports including football and will be carrying the baton in Leith.

Jules Stapleton Barnes, a Community Development Worker for LGBT, works to increase the inclusion of LGBT communities in sporting activity to the benefit of the health and wellbeing of individuals and supporting some of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of the LGBT community and will be carrying the baton in Portobello.

Jamie Renwick is 16 years old and is involved with helping out at different youth groups in the area. He is a young leader at the 88 Craigalmond Scout Group and also helps out at the High Flyers basketball club and will be carrying the baton in Portobello.

Frances Smith has been an active member of Warrender Baths Club for over 50 years, firstly as a swimmer, then as a coach and now, as the voluntary swimming convenor. She spends up to 30 hours a week encouraging swimmers into the sport, running development squads, coaching and organising competitions for young swimmers and will be carrying the baton in The Meadows.

Joannie McCutcheon was diagnosed with two brain tumours eight years ago. She has since used her own personal situation to become a patient representative, offering support and giving her time to help others in the same situation. She will carry the baton in the City Centre.

John Smith is 87 and actively participates in sport as well as being a community volunteer for St Giles Cathedral. He plays badminton, is part of a walking group and does aqua aerobics every week. He will carry the baton on The Royal Mile.

Christina Thomson is a well-known figure to staff, pupils and many local residents in the Broughton Primary School area of Edinburgh for the devotion and enthusiasm she has shown through volunteer work. She will carry the baton in Leith.

Sarah Mather started ‘Frightened Of Fitness’, a free community organisation to encourage people in the community to get active and involved in various sports and fitness classes and will carry the baton in Leith.

Lindsay Muir has devoted much of his life to table tennis. He is president of a local table tennis club, a Committee Member of the Edinburgh Table Tennis League and a regional coach and will carry the baton in Duddingston.

George Ross is a keen sportsman who has dedicated his life to young people and disadvantaged members of the community. He was the British Flyweight boxing champion and set up Insch Amateur Boxing Club to encourage boxing in Aberdeenshire. He is to take the baton through the city centre in the morning.

Sharon Parkin is a wonderful support and inspiration to many runners. She has struggled with depression and battled with her weight in the past but found that taking up running changed her life and she will carry the baton in The Meadows.

Karen Eastwood has given her life to teaching and enabling children with specific needs, through her profession and on a voluntary basis. As a teenager she spent every summer volunteering at camps for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. As a teacher she organised and took a group of deaf pupils and young leaders to visit schools in South Africa. She will carry the baton on The Royal Mile.

Ann Nicoll has volunteered as a Guider, Commissioner and Advisor with Brownies, Guides and Rangers for the last 44 years and is currently Guider in charge of 72nd City of Edinburgh Brownies. Ann will carry the baton in Duddingston.

Graham Moodie is a passionate ex-Scotland and GB Hockey player with twelve years’ experience of international hockey, including one Olympic and two Commonwealth Games. He will carry the baton in Leith.

Celia Peerless has devoted her spare time to improving the lives of special needs children in Edinburgh, through sport. She has coached children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and learning/physical disabilities to achieve the best that they can through games, athletics and sports, raising their self-esteem and helping them form friendships through sport. She will carry the baton in the city centre.

(Some of these route details may well change)

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The route that the baton will take starts at 10.00am when it arrives at Heriot-Watt University at the National Centre of Performance for Sport.

The full route of the Queen’s Baton Relay around Edinburgh today can be viewed here:

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/viewer?mid=zsU1Yf5HvMTA.kZT2rOWgjy04

Around 10.45 the baton will be taken on board a tram at the Murrayfield stop and it will travel to Shandwick Place and will be taken to The Hub at the corner of Johnstone Terrace.

At 11.45 the baton will arrive at Edinburgh Castle where the Lord Provost will witness the 21 gun salute to mark HM The Queen’s official birthday.

At 13.15 the baton will be taken to Holyrood Gates where the School Run race event will start off from. The School Run ends at Meadowbank.

At 13.45 the baton will be taken on a lap around Meadowbank, including the Tryathon event (more details below).

At 15.54 the baton will be taken to visit the Leith Gala moving to Portobello at 16.30. At 16.45 the baton will be presented to the public at Portobello bandstand.

Then at 17.45 the baton will arrive at the Royal Commonwealth Pool where a diving display will follow and at 18.30 the baton will be taken through Middle Meadow Walk.

At 18.45 the baton arrives at Ross Bandstand for the special concert there and will leave the gardens at about 20.00.

And then it will be taken off to have a good night’s sleep!

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The Council’s free Tryathon event, which will offer visitors the chance to take part in a variety of Commonwealth Games sports at Meadowbank Stadium, will place on display the 1970 and 1986 batons as part of a museum collection of Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh artefacts. Visitors will also have the chance to see and cheer on the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton as it visits Meadowbank as part of Edinburgh’s baton relay route.

The School Run, which is sponsored by supermarket chain Scotmid, will span a 2.2km route from Holyrood Palace to Meadowbank Stadium, and participants of all ages and abilities will be able to run, jog or walk side by side with sporting stars in order to raise money for community and school sports facilities.

Both events will take place today – The School Run will begin at 12:45pm and the Meadowbank Tryathon will be open from 10:30am until 5:00pm.

The School Run requires a £3 donation with every penny going to your nominated school or club to reinvest in sport. The Meadowbank Tryathon is free and open to all.

Participating Tryathon sports include: Rugby 7’s, hockey, athletics, gymnastics, judo, wrestling, lawn bowls, shooting, cycling, badminton, weightlifting, netball, table tennis, boxing.

For further information on the event and to register to take part visit www.theschoolrun2014.com

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Commonwealth diving stars of past and future will be attending a spectacular display of the sport

The Queen’s baton is to arrive at the iconic Royal Commonwealth pool at 5.45pm.

There, the Edinburgh Diving Club will perform a 10 minute display, setting the scene for the much anticipated Commonwealth Games Diving Event which will be hosted at the venue in July.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to attend and witness the display, which will include Edinburgh’s own Games hopefuls Grace Reid and James Heatly.

And James will be cheered on by his grandfather and inspiration Sir Peter Heatly, the only Scottish diver ever to have won a medal in the Commonwealth Games.

The event will also be attended by Shona Robison, Scotland’s Secretary for Sport.

The diving display will be part of a thrilling day of events in the city to mark the coming of the Queen’s baton, and all of you are encouraged to join in and be part of it.

Claire Rusack, Leisure Manager of the Royal Commonwealth Pool, said: “We welcome as many people as possible to join us at Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool to witness the historic moment the Queen’s baton arrives, and enjoy what is sure to be a magnificent display.

“Diving is proving an increasingly exciting sport, and we are very fortunate to have these world class facilities here in Edinburgh, as recognised recently when named one of the top ten public pools in the world by Lonely Planet.

“It is with great excitement that we will welcome the Commonwealth Games diving event here this summer. What better way to get in the mood for a summer of sport in Edinburgh than to come and enjoy this event on Saturday.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, Convener for Culture and Sport for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The Royal Commonwealth Pool is the ideal venue to host the diving competition when the Games return to Scotland this summer, and to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay on its first day in Scotland.

“For a chance to cheer on Edinburgh’s very own diving stars in the same spot they will take the plunge for Team Scotland later in the summer, make sure you don’t miss what will be a spectacular synchronised diving display from the Edinburgh Diving Club to mark the arrival of the baton.

“Diver Grace Reid is also one of ten rising stars portrayed in the new ‘Team Players’ photography exhibition at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, which showcases Commonwealth athletes who have a connection to Edinburgh. This exhibition will be on display until 18 June, before it moves to the Museum of Edinburgh later in the summer.”

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Guest athletes and Haka dancers who will take part in Edinburgh’s evening celebrations this evening to mark the first day of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Scotland were announced earlier this week

  •  Nicola Adams won the first ever Olympic Women’s Boxing Gold Medal at the London 2012 Games
  • Alex Arthur MBE – nicknamed “Amazing” Alex Arthur – is a former British, Commonwealth, European Boxing Union (EBU) and WBO super featherweight champion from Edinburgh
  • Eilidh Childs led the 400m hurdles for Team GB won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi when representing Scotland and made the final at the European Championships in Barcelona
  • An unofficial record for the biggest ‘Haka’ dance is hoped to be broken at the concert, when performers from Edinburgh’s Dancebase studios will encourage thousands of people to join in a dance celebration of Scotland’s ‘second team’ New Zealand

Last weekend Scottish artists were announced who will lead the line-up this evening when crowds will gather at the Ross Bandstand in West Princes Street Gardens for a celebration of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

Featuring a mix of music and dance entertainment, and special guest appearances from sporting stars in association with Glasgow 2014 and Team Scotland, the concert will offer families the perfect opportunity to cheer on the baton at the climax of its relay route around the capital.

The concert will feature award-winning contemporary folk bank Rura and will be presented by cult comedian, writer and ‘Still Game’ actor Sanjeev Kohli. Other acts include alternative Scottish hip-hop group Stanley Odd, harpist and star of BBC’s ‘The Voice’ Anna McLuckie, and the Love Music Community Choir.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: -“Edinburgh’s Evening Celebrations will be the culmination to a day of festivities for the pending arrival of the baton and will bring together some of the brightest and best music acts from the capital.

“It will also offer the chance to cheer on some of Team Scotland’s sporting stars ahead of their Commonwealth Games competitions. What better way to celebrate the day of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Edinburgh than a concert in the heart of the city against the spectacular backdrop of Princes Street Gardens and the Castle.”

Performer, Anna McLuckie said; “I’m very excited to play my part in Edinburgh’s build up to the Commonwealth Games, I feel so lucky that it’s all happening on my doorstep! It’s going to be a great night.”

Sanjeev Kohli said: “The arrival of the baton feels like the official start of an absolutely mammoth year for Scotland. We’ve all been waiting for the party to start, and this event is the equivalent of the cling film finally being taken off the buffet. And I DO NOT want to miss that.”

Edinburgh’s Evening Celebrations will take place at the Ross Bandstand in West Princes Street Gardens on Saturday 14 June between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets are free and still available to book. Reservations can be made through the Usher Hall box office, either online atwww.usherhall.co.uk (external link), or in person.