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Day 20.  Thursday 3 July.

On a bright Thursday morning the baton marked the half-way point in its 40 day adventure around Scotland with trip through the county of Moray. The county is nestled between the Highlands and Aberdeenshire and provided some picturesque surroundings for the Day 20 of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

It was thrilling start to the day as the baton was winched from an RAF rescue helicopter onto an RNLI lifeboat before being brought ashore at RAF Lossiemouth. One of the main functions of the base is to provide search and rescue operations to those needing assistance in the choppy Moray Firth.

Arriving safely back on terra firma, the relay team then set off to Buckie and ventured across the entire regions passing through towns and villages including Cullen, Fochabers, Mosstodloch, Lhanbryde, Lossiemouth, Hopeman, Kinloss, Forres and Elgin.  

The day was crammed with astonishing batonbearers, with over 100 of some of Moray’s most community-minded residents receiving the honour of carrying the symbol of the Commonwealth.

One such carrier was Catriona Anderson. Catriona was born with cerebral palsy which can make physical activities very challenging. However Catriona didn’t let her condition hamper her desire for an active lifestyle and she learnt to walk, ride a bike and ski. Now in secondary school, Catriona, mentors others suffer with similar experiences in order to improve their lvies.

Baton carriers across all age ranges were represented today. Following young Catriona was Dorothy Bremner. Dorothy or Dot was the eldest runner from Moray today aged 75. Dot is a champion for older people in Moray, encouraging them to get active. Despite suffering from hearing and sight issues Dot leads exercise workshops for the elderly and is a vital part of her community.

The hardy spirit of the Moray batonbearers was evident throughout the day. Andrew Wonnacott has been running since he was 17 years old. In that time frame, he’s run nine marathons and over one hundred 10k races. Five years ago he was diagnosed with debilitating osteoarthritis in his knee. How did Andrew react? To set himself the target of running 50 marathons by the time he reaches half a century of age in three years’ time.

Team Scotland athletes also featured as the Queen’s Baton passed through Moray, Scottish hockey internationalist Nikki Kidd and sprinter Kathryn Evans who ran in her home town of Lossiemouth. Donald McIntosh, a stalwart of Scottish shooting who served as Head Rifle Coach for Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics, drew the day to a close by bringing the baton into Elgin. 

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07.30RAF Lossiemouth

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Catriona has battled through being born with cerebral palsy to learn to walk, ride a bike and to ski. She even represented her primary school team at netball. She has been an inspiration to others in more ways than one; during the last three years of secondary school, she mentored others who were suffering from similar experiences that she went through, in order to improve their lives.

The oldest candidate to carry the Queen’s Baton in the Moray district, Dot is an inspiring 75 year-old woman who has refused to let her own degenerative sight and hearing issues to get in the way of encouraging older people all over Moray to get active and enjoy dancing and exercising. Dot not only leads exercise workshops for older people but runs workshops that train the same people to lead the exercises themselves.

Louise founded the Mosstodloch Scout Group and has overseen its development from a small group to one with over 120 members who participate in a range of Beavers, Clubs, Scouts, and Explorer Groups. She positively challenges young people in the area and pushes them to develop into enthusiastic, rounded young adults, and provides a safe environment to learn about positive values and self-worth.

Roy has long been active in a variety of sports and fundraising activities, and has represented two nations over the years in his sporting achievements. He joined the RAF as a physical training instructor, and became Joint Services Heavyweight Champion representing the UK in the 1976 Olympic squad. He later excelled in athletics, claiming the crown of West German champion for the 110metres hurdles.

With 20 years’ experience in the First Fochabers, Douglas has actively volunteered in the role of Beaver, Scout and Explorer Leader, and has made a huge difference to hundreds of people, from six to 66 years old. As well as through weekly meetings Douglas has facilitated, led hikes and camps, as well as encouraged, staffed and supported countless community or district events. Many of his nominees will testify that he has radically turned teenager’s lives around.

Elizabeth Priddle is one of Scotland’s leading cricketers. She has represented Scotland for the last six years in the ECB Women’s cricket league, and has played for her home nation in many international matches, including scoring a half-century against Canada in 2013. She holds the record for the youngest woman in Scottish cricket history to score a century and took home the award for Best Battling Average in the NOSCA Reserve League in 2011, in an otherwise all-male league.

Andy has been running since he was 17 years old. In that time frame, he’s run nine marathons and over one hundred 10k races. Five years ago he was diagnosed with debilitating osteoarthritis in his knee. Most people would give up, but not Andy. He hopes to have run 50 marathons by the time he reaches half a century of age in three years’ time.

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