Inside the Games: it was an honour for me to carry the Queen's Baton

There is little doubt that over the past few months, the people of Scotland have been getting increasingly excited abut the Commonwealth Games, which are now just six days away.

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But the one event which really created an explosion of interest in the Games in this country, was the arrival of the Queen's Baton on June 14.

The baton travelled through all 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth before arriving in Scotland but there was some skepticism about the Queen's Baton Relay prior to its arrival in this country regarding just how much interest it would attract. It has, however, been a triumph.

Communities all across Scotland have embraced the arrival of the baton, and each and every baton bearer has talked of their pride of being given the opportunity to be part of such a prestigious event.

I was lucky enough to be given the honour of carrying the baton in East Renfrewshire yesterday and the experience was even better than I had anticipated.

The majority of the baton bearers are members of the public who have contributed to their community in some way but there have also been a number of former athletes nominated to carry the baton.

I was nominated by Team Scotland and I was extremely proud to be given the chance to be involved in this memorable event and meet some of my fellow baton bearers.

After a wet start to the day, the weather cleared up and by the time I was ready to do my leg of the relay, it was a beautiful afternoon. My section of the route took me through Rouken Glen Park in Giffnock and there were hundreds of kids out in force to see the baton.

That so many children have engaged with the Commonwealth Games through the Baton Relay is, for me, the most important part of this event.

The relay has allowed children all across Scotland to feel as if they are a part of the Commonwealth Games and this, I believe, is so important.

It is vital that the Games are not seen as purely a Glasgow Games but instead involve and engage people from every corner of Scotland, in which it seems to have succeeded.

When I ran my leg of the relay, dozens of kids ran alongside me (some were too fast for me, though) and all of them wanted to touch the baton which has been held by people from as far afield as Samoa, Grenada and Nigeria.

It was heart-warming to see the children's excitement at being part of the Baton Relay and the Commonwealth Games.

When I had completed my 200 metres, I handed the baton to 15 year-old Erin Stevens from Giffnock, who was nominated by her mum because of the voluntary work she does at her swimming club.

Erin is a member of Kingston Swimming Club in Glasgow, the oldest club in the city, and despite the fact that the club receives no funding, they still manage to qualify swimmers for the Scottish Championships, including Erin herself.

Erin modestly told me that she helps coach the younger swimmers in her club but her mum revealed that she, in fact, spends many more hours at the club than she was letting on.

Her mum told me that she didn't expect her daughter's application to be accepted but when it was, she was "delighted and so, so proud."

Erin herself was "nervous but also really excited" at the prospect of carrying the baton and, in my opinion, it is people like Erin who are the most deserving of their nominations.

There are so many unsung heroes in Scotland; people who give up their time voluntarily to help out at sports clubs, community clubs and many other community based projects and they, so often, receive little gratitude for their efforts.

The Queen's Baton Relay has been the perfect way to thank these people, without whom, there would be far fewer community activities for people to take part in.

For me personally, running in the Baton Relay was a moment that I will never forget and the experience has just added to the fondness that I already possess for the Commonwealth Games.

The baton has been on the road since October 9 last year and it now has just a few days to go before it reaches Celtic Park for the Opening Ceremony of Glasgow 2014.

For me, it was an absolute delight to be a part of such a monumental event.

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