Swimmer Ross Murdoch and triathlete Marc Austin joined athletes from across Scotland to celebrate the announcement of the Scottish route for the Queen’s Baton Relay.
Commonwealth Games Scotland and Glasgow 2014 are looking for 4,000 batonbearers to carry this unique symbol of the Commonwealth Games. The Queen’s Baton Relay will travel across the globe through the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth carrying a special message from Her Majesty the Queen.
Its final lap will be 40 days travelling the length and breadth of Scotland towards its final destination and the Opening Ceremony of the Games on 23 July, 2014.
Before it departed on its 190,000km, 248-day international journey, the Queen’s Baton was brought to Stirling and on campus to the University, home of Commonwealth Games Scotland, to launch an appeal for nominations for the batonbearers who will carry it through the communities of Scotland in June and July of next year.
Austin, studying Mathematics, is the World Junior Triathlon Silver Medallist. He said: “I am really excited to be here today to see the Queen’s Baton and it makes me even more determined to be selected to compete for Scotland at Glasgow 2014.
“It will be a special moment when the baton visits my home city of Glasgow next year and I hope it will encourage everyone to get behind the Games and show their support for Team Scotland.”
Second year Sport and Exercise student Murdoch, from Balfron, is one of Britain's leading 100m breaststroke swimmers, having qualified for the FINA World Championships in style.
He posted the third fastest time in the world this year, broke the Scottish Record and finished in front of Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson at the British Gas Swimming Championships to reach his first ever World Championships.
Murdoch said: “It would mean an awful lot to me to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, it’s the reason I’ve been getting out of my bed in the morning for the last two and a half years. It’s something I’ve wanted so much to be a part of and to achieve.
“To see the baton here on campus today and to be told the next time it’s in Scotland will be just before the Commonwealth Games gets under way, it’s making the dream become even more of a reality for me.
“My performance at the World Championships has given me a little bit more confidence coming into qualifying for Team Scotland. I know I’ve been in good form and I know I can continue that on. I’m working hard in the pool, always giving everything. It will take a world class time to make the team – whoever makes that team will deserve it and they will be welcomed on the team.”
Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman Michael Cavanagh said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is the ultimate symbol of the Commonwealth Games and its arrival in Scotland gives an important signal to both the athletes and the public that the Games are just around the corner.
“As the host Commonwealth Games Association we are delighted to announce today the route the baton will take during its 40 days in Scotland next June/July and how the public can nominate worthy batonbearers who make a significant contribution to their local community. The baton’s journey through the country is the ideal opportunity to celebrate community sport and recognise those local athletes selected for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014. Get behind the Team and be part of the Games.”