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Age no barrier to Ayrshire batonbearer

Jim Young, batonbearer

Jim Young was nominated as a batonbearer in the Queen's Baton Relay because he has inspired people across Ayrshire to get involved in athletics for over 60 years.

Carrying the Queen's baton was a real privilege for me. I am 81 years old and have been a member of Kilmarnock Harrier and Athletic Club for over 64 years and the longest serving member.

Currently I am club President and leading endurance coach, so being part of the Baton Relay had real meaning for me. I have presided over our Club’s 100 and 125 year celebrations, watched and been part of our growth from membership of low twenties to an exciting 500.

Fortunately I am supported with a strong executive committee along with dedicated coaches and parent volunteers, I am part of the committee of the club’s partnership with East Ayrshire council who took the decision to create a state of the art Athletic facility in Kilmarnock which is now our club’s headquarters. This has been a real springboard in our club’s growth.

My athletic career started out in 1948 as a 15 year old and over the years gained Club, County titles and represented Scotland in a couple of Home international 880 yard events.

I started mentoring and coaching athletes about 50 years ago and have been lucky enough to have been awarded “Volunteer of the year” by U.K. Athletics and “Development Coach of the Year” by Sport Scotland.

My greatest pleasure is watching young athletes grow in self esteem and self discipline and achieving their goals, some of them winning County, District, and National medals at various distances and helping one athlete to represent Scotland at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. I have had a wonderful 64 years helping and promoting Athletics locally so yes, being a baton carrier has been something special for me.