Tayside and Central Scotland

Local heroes take part in the Queen's Baton Relay

After a journey of more than 180,000km passing through over 70 nations and territories the Queen's Baton has arrived in Scotland.

Between 14 June and 23 July, the baton will visit all 32 of Scotland's local authorities ahead of opening ceremony of Glasgow's Commonwealth Games on 23 July.

The route through Central and Tayside will see the baton start in Denny before moving through Larbert and Carrion before entering Falkirk at lunchtime on Tuesday.

It will then move through past the Kelpies and finish in Bo'ness where a formal ceremony passing the baton over to Clackmannanshire will take place.

Up to 4,000 batonbearers will take part in the the relay in more than 400 communities. Each of the runners have been chosen due to their work in the local community.

Stefan Hoggan

Stefan is a high achieving individual who is an important role model within his local community. Intensely focused he does not let his disability hold him back from achieving his goals, and always strives to improve on previous efforts.

The chance to take part in the Queen's Baton Relay offers him the chance to play a role in the Commonwealth Games after missing out on a place with the athletics team by the narrowest of margins.

He said: "I am over the moon to have been selected to run with the Queens Baton. I missed out on competing myself at the games in swimming by 0.02 of a second so this has helped to make up for it."

Stefan trains under John Szaranek at Dunfermline's Carnegie Swimming Club and coaches young disabled swimmers.

After taking part in the relay he plans to focus his efforts on the 2016 Paralympic Games.

John Bunyan

John is a sporting icon in Falkirk and across Scotland for his work in basketball. A former Scottish coach who led Team Scotland at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, John and his Club Fury has introduced basketball to more than 1000 youngsters in Scotland.

Under John's leadership, the club has produced more than 40 international players as well has 10 professional players.

John continues to give up his time to coach and develop basketball across Falkirk and works with all age groups from Under 10 to Senior Men and Women.

Keith Bailey

Keith has been given a second chance at life and is living it to the full. In 2008 at the age of 46, Keith was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes and went on to develop severe hypoglycaemic unawareness.

This led to a complete change in Keith's life, losing his job, drivers licence and all independence.

On top of this, Keith was given the devastating news that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

After recovering from his setbacks, Keith found himself with a new found appetite for life which has seen him running marathons and charity races at the same time raising money for charity and promoting organ donation.

He said: "I got a second chance at life and I've done my best to grab it with both hands."

"Being asked to run for the Queen's Baton Relay is a real honour and I feel very proud. It's a great achievement."

After taking part in the relay Keith plans to continue his fund-raising at Tyneside's Great North Run in September.

Anne Reilly

Anne, an active swimming teacher for young children and parent and child classes, has terminal cancer but has continued to work to help children enjoy sport.

She is currently fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support and the charity Tommy's, inspires many people, both within the work environment and outside the local community.

Her resilience, get up and go attitude and bravery help illuminate the shadow of her illness.

She said: "Words at the moment can't describe how I feel, it is all quite surreal.

"To be given this opportunity is absolutely fantastic and I can't thank my boss enough for initially nominating me and also the final committee for selecting me."

Jeanette Izatt

Keen runner Jeannette has also inspired others in her battle against cancer.

She was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer in 2012, having already lost her parents and brother to the disease.

Jeannette, who works as an occupational therapist for the NHS, has become a keen runner and has taken part in several races to raise money for charities.

The 57-year-old said: " I feel very excited and plan to make the most of it.

"I would say that I feel very honoured to have been chosen out of the thousands of people who have been nominated.

"It is lovely to be part of this huge celebration of the Commonwealth Games on behalf of both Scotland and the UK."

She added: "Personally it is unlikely that this will occur again in my lifetime, so I intend to carry the baton high and not sprint through my leg of the relay, intending to relish such a rare opportunity."

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