The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Baton names known today

- by Alan Wilson awilson@thecourier.co.uk

Thousands of people will today learn they are to carry the Queen’s Baton as a thank-you from communitie­s all across Scotland to the extraordin­ary individual­s who make a positive difference to the lives of others.

THOUSANDS OF people will find out today if they are to carry the Queen’s baton.

The roles will be awarded to individual­s who make a positive difference to the lives of others in their communitie­s.

Up to 4,000 baton bearers from all 32 local authoritie­s in Scotland will join the relay in more than 400 communitie­s as the baton makes its way to Glasgow for the opening ceremony of the Commonweal­th Games.

For the first time in the history of any relay, all 545 secondary schools in Scotland were invited to nominate a pupil to participat­e as a baton bearer.

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

On July 23, the message the Queen placed in the baton will be read at the opening ceremony.

Community and schools baton bearers include Dundee University medical student Elizabeth Ferris, 27, who suffered a spinal cord injury three years ago that resulted in her becoming a full-time wheelchair user.

A keen sportswoma­n, she founded the Dundee Dragons Wheelchair Rugby League Club to give other users the chance to take part in competitiv­e sport.

Before its formation there were no sporting opportunit­ies in Dundee for active wheelchair users.

The club now has 20 registered members representi­ng all age groups and levels of ability offering regular wheelchair basketball, tennis and curling sessions alongside its core rugby focus.

Elizabeth said: “After my injury I didn’t think sport was possible, so it’s great to be able to stay fit and active and it helps keeps my mind clear.

“I always loved playing sport and now I’m in a chair that’s no different. It’s a huge honour to have been chosen as a baton bearer.

“Hopefully it shows other wheelchair users that their disability doesn’t have to define them. There really are no barriers to what you can achieve.”

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