TWO Greenock Morton representatives will have the honour of carrying the Queen’s baton when it visits Inverclyde today. Launched in October 2013, the baton embarked on its 190,000km global journey, visiting 70 nations in just 288 days. It arrived back in Scotland on 14 June. Now, one month on, it will come to Inverclyde.
Our consultant for club development, Warren Hawke, and head coach of Morton Girls, Leeanne McPhail, were chosen as baton bearers for the Inverclyde leg back in April. Now, with the big moment approaching, both have told of their growing excitement at taking part in such an historic occasion.
In particular, Warren highlighted his delight that primary and secondary schools have already finished for the summer – giving local kids the chance to witness the historic moment first-hand. He said: “From my perspective it’s an honour to be part of a fantastic occasion and to have been nominated to be one of the baton bearers. “I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic occasion – I think it’s all for the better that the schools are off on holiday at the time as well, so the children will get to experience it.”
Warren added his appreciation that the chosen local representatives were not confined only to those with a direct connection with the games – football isn’t even part of them, after all! He said: “Football isn’t in the Commonwealth Games, but I think we shouldn’t take it as an insult – it’s a sporting extravaganza regardless. “It’s going to be on our doorstep and, whether or not your particular sport is involved in the games, I just feel it’s something we have to embrace. “It’s such a once in a lifetime thing having a major event take place in our backyard.”
Leeanne echoed Warren’s excitement, insisting she was delighted simply to be nominated in the first place. She said: “To be selected as one of only 4,000 baton bearers is such an honour. “I spend my days inspiring young people to get involved in sport and engage in events such as the Commonwealth Games through my roles with Active Schools in Renfrewshire and as head of Morton Girls – so it’s great to play an active part in the baton relay.
As an Inverclyde local, Leeanne stressed just how important it is to have been chosen as a baton bearer for the area. She added: “I know that some of my players and their families plan to come along and support me on the day so it’ll be a great experience to carry the baton in my own community.”
Leeanne will carry the baton at 1528 along Bank Street
Warren will carry the baton at 1628 at the Waterfront Leisure Centre