In spite of having a learning disability, Paul actively volunteers in many capacities in order to truly fulfil his potential. He helps out with local youth football events (for Galloway Thistle) and works at the team’s football fare every year. He’s also involved in the Newton Stewart Pageant and the Portwilliam Gala.
Today a bright and sunny Dumfries & Galloway ushered in the sixth day of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Scotland as it makes it 4000km trip to every corner of Scotland. As the relay’s first week in Scotland edges towards completion spectators were treated to a festive atmosphere as the baton traversed Sctland’s South-West.
The day’s stopping points included Eastriggs, Dumfries, Langholm, Gretna, Castle Douglas and Stranraer. The celebratory mood lasted the whole day as pipers played traditional Scottish music for the relay team as they passed through Langholm. In Gretna a couple about to be wed jumped into the relay to pose for some pictures and the day finished with a shindig at Stranraer’s Agnew Park.
A touch of showbiz came in the form of Scots actress, Ashley Jensen, star of Ugly Betty, who was on hand to carry the baton through Gretna.
Joining Jensen on the relay was 14 year old, Tyler Jolly, an aspiring boxer, Tyler has dedicated his life entirely to boxing; his diet is conscientiously selected and strictly tailored to suit his training requirements and he travels a 300 round mile trip to Motherwell each Saturday to train with the Scotland Development Squad. He also trains three times a week at his home club Bravehearts Amateur Boxing Club.
Bravehearts Boxing Club made more than one contribution to the day’s batonbearers pool. Local favourite, Willie Martin, who is the founder of the successful Bravehearts Amateur Boxing Club and also trains with the Scotland squad most weekends, brought the baton into Stranraer amid huge cheers from the crowd.
Another young bright talent who carried the famous baton was Thomas Wright. Thomas, a 17 year old pupil at Kirkcudbright Academy and a member of the Kirkcudbright Otters Swimming Club has refused to let his dyspraxia affect him. While the condition hampers coordination and fine motor skills, Thomas has taken up swimming, showing incredible personal strength and resilience to develop into a strong competent swimmer.