Commonwealth baton arrives in isles

Dougie Grant gives children at Sandwick a chance to touch the baton. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Dougie Grant gives children at Sandwick a chance to touch the baton. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The Queen’s Commonwealth Games baton arrived in Shetland today with 99 people due to carry it in various parts of the isles.

The baton arrived slightly late at Sumburgh Airport and headed to Jarlshof where the bearers included Darren Hall, Ceilidh Mercer and Lyndsey Henderson.

From there the baton made its way to Sandwick where Neville Martin, Daniel Mainland and Liam Brannan were among the carriers.

At Lerwick crowds flocked to the Clickimin athletics track in glorious sunshine to welcome the baton to a school and community event.

A festive atmosphere prevailed with Commonwealth flags around the track and the Junior Jarl’s Squad in attendance.

Baton carriers (from left) Darren Hall , Ceilidh Mercer and Lyndsey Henderson at Jarlshof. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Baton carriers (from left) Darren Hall , Ceilidh Mercer and Lyndsey Henderson at Jarlshof. Photo: Dave Donaldson

On reaching the town the baton had been carried down Sound Brae, watched by clusters of onlookers. Baton bearer Holly King, a keen athlete who is also a Young Scot Youth Legacy ambassador, said she had been “proud” to carry the baton, and fellow batonbearer Haydn Thomason said it was a “good honour”, and it was good to see so many people.

Youngsters from all the Lerwick schools, as well as Fair Isle and Foula, had assembled and watched, whistled and jostled as the baton made its way round the track carried by Martin Leyland, who handed over to swimming coach Petur Petursson.

He held it as the hundreds of pupils swarmed past to touch it, and said later: “It’s one of the best days of my life. To have my hands on the baton for such a long time with all the kids going past was quite emotional.”

The baton then left for Scalloway, leaving the school pupils to form a massed choir to sing the Commonwealth Games anthem Here’s to all our Common Wealth. Music, dancing and games on the grass followed.

• More photos and stories in The Shetland Times on Friday.

About Rosalind Griffiths

I am a Shetland Times reporter covering news, including health stories, and features. I have been in Shetland for more than 30 years.

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