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Orkney Islands

Day 27.  Thursday 10 July.

With less than two weeks remaining until the much anticipated opening ceremony of Glasgow 2014, the Queen’s Baton Relay reached the Orkney Islands on its last northern stop before making a winding road south back to Glasgow. The Orkney Islands contain some 70 islands and the vibrant wildlife and long sandy beaches made for a dramatic back drop for today’s relay.

The baton ventured across the archipelago through Stromness, Skara Brae, Dounby, Finstown and Kirkwall and continue the following day through Holm, St Mary’s and St Margaret’s Hope. The baton was back at sea and travelled by RNLI lifeboat from Hatston Harbour to Kirkwall Harbour, passing by St Magnus Cathedral before reaching the multi-purpose Pickaquoy Centre. The baton also visited the 5,000-year-old Neolithic Skara Brae settlement and the Ring of Brodgar, a stone circle older than the pyramids.

The baton was carried by a diverse band of Orcadians who had been nominated by their local communities.

One such runner was Bashir Hasham, 79, who has organised Veteran's Badminton for over 50 years. Bashir himself is an active participant and his efforts have provided senior citizens an opportunity to exercise on a weekly basis and stay active. For the last 8 years he has also walked / run in the Hoy Half Marathon, believed to be the second hardest Half Marathon in the UK.

Joining Bashir was Karen Hume. Karen has dedicated many hours to Girlguiding Orkney and Holm Youth Club resulting in her being presented with the highest Saltire Award for volunteering. She is also a member of Girlguiding Orkney's executive committee as the ‘Join Us’ coordinator and is an Assistant District Commissioner.

Sean McFedries is a huge part of the Orkney Community and seemed thrilled to be a batonbearer. Sean was part of the Orkney group that brought the Commonwealth Flag home from India, and carried the Olympic Torch for the Olympic Games when it came to Orkney. Sean has Down’s Syndrome and is involved in lots of volunteering in the area with the elderly, toddler groups, Clan Charity shop and garden and various recycling programmes.

Orkney’s turn at hosting the Queen’s Baton Relay concluded in Kirkwall. The weather had been kind and glorious sunshine had beamed down on the batonbearers all day. 

Baton Route

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Schedule

10.35Stromness
13.50Skara Brae
14.30Dounby
15.50Finstown
17.35Kirkwall

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Featured batonbearers

Laura, nearing retirement, has dedicated her career to teaching PE in numerous primary schools including over 20 years ar Glaitness primary giving to support to children with additional needs. Laura was also part of various extracurricular activities and her notable efforts in promoting Athletics culminated each year in the highly successful multi-primary school athletics championship, which so many children have attended over the years.

Alison and her husband Brian have voluntarily run the Orkney Athletics club for at least 15 years. They offer help and support to all the athletes who join the team and regularly give up their weekends to travel to the Scottish mainland and further afield with the team when they compete in Scottish Schools, Regionals and Open Championship competitions.

For over 20 years, Bashir, 79, has organised Veteran's Badminton for over 50s. Bashir himself is an active participant and his efforts have provided senior citizens an opportunity to exercise on a weekly basis and stay active. For the last 8 years he has also walked / run in the Hoy Half Marathon, believed to be the second hardest Half Marathon in the UK.

Karen has dedicated many hours to Girlguiding Orkney and Holm Youth Club resulting in her being presented with the highest Saltire Award for volunteering. She is also a member of Girlguiding Orkney's executive committee as the ‘Join Us’ coordinator and is an Assistant District Commissioner.

Sean is a big part of the Orkney Community as he was part of the Orkney group that brought the Commonwealth Flag home from India, and carried the Olympic Torch for the Olympic Games when it came to Orkney. Sean has Down’s Syndrome and is involved in lots of volunteering in the area with the elderly, toddler groups, Clan Charity shop and garden and various recycling programmes. He enjoys trampolining and is a very independent young man, who makes a big difference to everyone he meets.

James has worked as a dedicated volunteer, coaching the local junior football club, for over 15 years. He enthusiastically encourages participation from children of all ages and backgrounds. The junior football club is attended by almost all children aged 5-16 on the island and his long and significant contribution is much appreciated making him a great role model for the younger children that attend.

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