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Dumfries and Galloway

Day 6.  Thursday 19 June.

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.

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Schedule

07:30Langholm
09:10 Gretna 
10:00Eastriggs
11:00Dumfries
13:05Castle Douglas
14:40Kirkcudbright
16:05Newton Stewart
17:25Stranraer

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Featured batonbearers

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.

Billy is a Royal Caledonian Curling Club coach and has coached Dumfries Junior Curlers for many years. Now 78, Billy has given many hours of his time to encouraging and developing the skills of grass-roots curlers, and also recycles curling equipment to ensure young players can play at reasonable cost. He and his wife often host visiting curlers for junior international events, and he works tirelessly in the background at many Dumfries curling events to ensure the smooth running of the event.

While only 14 years old, Tyler has dedicated his life entirely to boxing; his diet is conscientiously selected and strictly followed, his social life 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.

Hayden suffers from autism but has never let it stop him from engaging in as much sport as possible, always pushing himself to the best of his ability in the process. He immerses himself in sports but is particularly fond of athletics, swimming, football and boccia. At only 13 years old, he was the youngest member of the Dumfries and Galloway team to travel to the Special Olympics summer games in Bath and the only member to win gold, silver and bronze in his chosen sport, athletics.

Former Olympic and Commonwealth athlete David has made a massive impact on Langholm. He freely donates money from his trust fund to numerous good causes in-and-outside Langholm for the improvement of the community and for sports development, and represents numerous organising committees. His money has been integral in ensuring organisations remain established and functioning, and he never looks for publicity in return.

A 17 year old pupil at Kirkcudbright Academy and a member of the Kirkcudbright Otters Swimming Club, Thomas refuses to let the dyspraxia he was born with 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 who, as boy’s captain, leads from the front in local galas.

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