Queens Baton Relay kicks off at Dunnottar Castle

Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle

With less than three days to go until the Queen’s Baton Relay lands in Kincardine and Mearns, Ken and Jenny are ready.

Ken Melville and Jenny Banks are two more relay runners who will take part this Sunday, June 29, bright and early from 7.30am.

Jenny will be running with the baton this coming Sunday

Jenny will be running with the baton this coming Sunday

After the relay kicks off at Dunnottar Castle, the batonbearers will head to the Open Air Swimming Pool before passing through the town centre - taking in Allardice Street, Barclay Street, Evan Street and the Slug Road.

Jenny is a retired PE teacher who worked for 29 years at Caroonhill School and 20 years at Portlethen Academy.

She was nominated by her daughter, Melanie, for her services to sport and in particular for young people with learning disabilities.

Jenny said: “From 1984 until2009 I was very involved with the Special Olympics. This organisation was set up to get young people with learning disabilities involved in sport.”

Ken will be running with the Queen's Relay Baton this coming Sunday

Ken will be running with the Queen's Relay Baton this coming Sunday

Jenny’s highlights include being part of the GM team at the 1992 Paralympic Games, head of delegation for the UK Special Olympic team at the World Winter games in Toronto in 1997 and assistant head of delegation for the UK Special Olympic world summer games in North Carolina in 1999.

Jenny added: “It is a alot of hard work but very rewarding when you see how much these young people gained from competing in sport.”

Ken Melville was nominated by his daughter, Kim, and has been actively involved in tennis and badminton throughout the 1980s and 90s.

Kim told us: “I put his name forward because he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t seek publicity or thanks for anything he does.

‘‘Helping out, coaching, taxi services - its what he does. He loves all sports, however tennis and badminton are his real passions.

“I felt he deserved to carry the baton because of his dedication to the Stonehaven Tennis Club over the years and to all the boys and girls who have had his coaching.

‘‘He has definitely provided a service to the local community and some of his pupils have gone on to careers in sport or have now dedicated themselves to coaching.

“I am immensely proud of him for all he has achieved and for all the wisdom he as passed down to our family. I know my mum, sisters and our families are delighted he has been chosen for this once in a lifetime accolade.

“I’ve been telling all my friends who are still in Stonehaven what time he is running, really hoping for a big turn out because he deserves to know just how much people appreciate him. We will be up in Stonehaven for the weekend with our two boys who are very very excited to see Papa with the baton.”

Ken told the Leader: “I am honoured and humbled, but there are a lot of people who are deserving of taking part.

“I’d like to think I’ve helped some of the younger generation with coaching having been involved on a voluntary basis since the 80s.

“I’m look forward to doing my part nice and early on the Sunday morning.”

The baton is visiting more than 400 Scottish communities, offering people across the nation an opportunity to be part of the excitement, celebrations and countdown to Scotland’s biggest-ever sporting and cultural festival, and show their support for the home team.

Aberdeenshire Provost Councillor Jill Webster said: “I am pleased that preparations are going so well and are now almost complete.

“The day itself is now less than a week away and I know a lot of people are really looking forward to it.

“It will be a great chance for our communities to be involved in this historic, global event and we know that people will be out in their droves to give the baton bearers a rousing Aberdeenshire welcome.’’