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North Lanarkshire

Day 10.  Monday 23 June.

Today the Queen’s Baton entered the heart of host nation, North Lanarkshire. The county, which is situated in the central belt of land between Scotland’s capital Edinburgh and Games city Glasgow, provided an active day of non-stop fun for the relay’s batonbearers. 

It was a date for the kids as the relay continued its mission to allow one child from every school in Scotland to hold the baton by visiting Stepps, Chapelhall and Wishaw Primary schools and Coatbridge’s St Andrews’ High School. Strathclyde Country Park will not only host the evening celebrations but will be the idyllic home to a triathlon, which will traverse around Strathclyde Loch, running concurrently with the relay.

The relay bustled past some of North Lanarkshire’s most iconic landmarks and sights. Into Cumbernauld the relay visited the home of Scotland’s beloved orange soft drink, IRN BRU, to get a glimpse of the beverage’s girder-bending secret recipe. 

Tom then handed the baton to the days final batonbearer Scottish TV presenter Carol Smilie as it approached Strathclyde Country Park.

Amidst all the revelry there were some moving moments when baton carriers who have overcome personal tragedy ran with the symbol of the Commonwealth cementing their status as local heroes.

One such runner was Paul Holmes. Back in 2007, Paul contracted an extremely rare and debilitating disease - Chronic Q Fever – which required dual-heart valve replacement and life-long treatment with highly-aggressive medications. He lost 65% of his muscles but in a true embodiment of the Commonwealth spirit, Paul has refused to let his condition hamper his life. Paul founded Antonine Athletic Youth FC, which uses football to divert youngsters from offending or anti-social or harmful behaviour. He also set up Kelvin Valley Honey which provides employment for house-bound people.

Anne McPherson perhaps received some of the biggest cheers of the day. Anne lost her little boy Cullan to a rare genetic condition.  Demonstrating remarkable resilience and compassion for others, Anne then went on to raise £10,000 to charities researching Leigh’s Syndrome and £8,000 for Children’s Hospice Association Scotland. Charities close to her heart that supported her and husband Craig when Cullan’s condition worsened.

Anne carried the baton with a big smile and indicative of the high calibre of baton beaeres North Lanarkshire produced.

When Anne lost her little boy Cullan, she stayed extremely strong, and was “a rock” to her husband Craig. She’s since raised over £10,000 for research into Leigh's syndrome and over £8,000 for CHAS, two charities close to both her and Craig’s hearts. She’s well-known at the Asda where she’s worked for 29 years, and has no fear about dressing up to raise money for the charities. Anne is a truly resilient and caring character.

North Lanarkshire is tomorrow, Monday 23 June, set to welcome the Queen’s Baton as it travels through the area, with a range of extraordinary batonbearers taking part in day 258 of the baton’s journey through 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

The Queen’s Baton Relay will venture across North Lanarkshire, stopping by the home of IRN BRU in Cumbernauld, to get a glimpse of the beverage’s famous secret recipe. It is then set to visit a stream of schools, including Stepps, Chapelhall and Wishaw Academy Primary, as well as Coatbridge’s St Andrews High School. The Summerlees Museum and Chilterns Nursing Home is part of the day’s relay, whilst the villages of Chryston and Newmains are also set to welcome the baton.

Baton Route

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Schedule

07.35Stepps
08.30Muirhead
08.50Chryston 
09.35Cumbernauld
09.55Airdrie
11.05Chapelhall
11.55Newmains
12.20Cambusnethan
12.40Wishaw 
13.40Motherwell
15.35Coatbridge 
17.50Tannochside
18.00Viewpark
18.10Strathclyde Country Park 

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Featured batonbearers

For decades Frank has encouraged and mentored young people - from all backgrounds – to participate in sport and in the Boys Brigade. With the latter he was BB Captain of 1st Airdrie for two decades (and Best Company for 10 years), was then made President, and then later is now the Battalion’s Honorary Vice-President. He encouraged members to take part in cross country running, and organised the National Boys Brigade cross country races.

Frank has been a volunteer coach with Springhill Amateur Boxing Club in Shoots for almost 40 years. Over the decades he has worked with boxers of all ages and abilities, giving up a tremendous amount of time to them as well as holding down a full-time job and looking after three daughters of his own. He converted a derelict council building and transformed it into a state of the art boxing gym, in order to install into youngsters the essence of discipline, teamwork, keeping fit and having fun.

Back in 2007, Paul contracted an extremely rare and debilitating disease - Chronic Q Fever – which required dual-heart valve replacement and life-long treatment with highly-aggressive and increasingly-addictive medications. He even lost 65% of his muscles.

"Celebrating his 60th birthday in the same year as the XX Commonwealth Games (Glasgow 2014), Charlie is still working full-time and is still voluntarily coaching and training in karate, as he has done for 40 years; as a result, he has enriched the lives of hundreds of young people and adults alike.

When Anne lost her little boy Cullan, she stayed extremely strong, and was “a rock” to her husband Craig. She’s since raised over £10,000 for research into Leigh's syndrome and over £8,000 for CHAS, two charities close to both her and Craig’s hearts. She’s well-known at the Asda where she’s worked for 29 years, and has no fear about dressing up to raise money for the charities. Anne is a truly resilient and caring character.

For many years Ray has been raising money for local people and organisations. She raised a stunning £160,000 and was awarded the MBE in 2009. In the early days Ray would run half and full marathons to raise funds, but a double mastectomy in 1991 put an end to her running. Since then she has been raising money by selling raffle tickets; she’d raise funds in Woolworths, where she worked for 28 years. Her present target is trying to capture £1,000 for Yorkhill and the Salvation Army Appeal.

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