Cardenden teens can’t wait to carry the Queen’s baton

Rachael Page and Shaun Rowcliffe who have been chosen to carry the baton for the Commonwealth Games.
Rachael Page and Shaun Rowcliffe who have been chosen to carry the baton for the Commonwealth Games.

Two Cardenden teenagers who have overcome massive disabilities to help others are looking forward to being baton bearers for the Commonwealth Games.

Rachael Page and Shaun Rowcliffe, both 18, were delighted to be chosen for the honour after being nominated by Andrea Glen, a self advocacy officer for ENABLE Scotland, Fife Services.

The teenagers are both members of local youth forum Best Friends, which meets every second Saturday in Kirkcaldy and campaigns for the rights of young people with a range of disabilities.

Rachael, of Woodend Road, was born prematurely at just 24 weeks. She has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, but, despite the difficulties she’s faced, she has won many medals and trophies for wheelchair dancing in competitions around the country.

Shaun, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and cognitive and fine motor development disabilities, is a keen swimmer, training six days a week until he underwent a major operation on his back in December. He is currently recovering and is desperate to get back into the pool in September.

As part of the programme for the local youth forum the young people have been participating in health and wellbeing sessions, covering a wide range of activities such as Zumba, wheelchair dancing and swimming. They are planning visits from Raith Rovers and Fife Flyers to find out how they keep themselves fit and healthy.

Rachael and Shaun have been instrumental in guiding these sessions and helping and encouraging their peers to be as fit and healthy as possible, and are both keen advocates of improving services for people with disabilities.

Rachael has been chosen to carry the baton bearing the Queen’s message to the Commonwealth for a section of the route through Kinghorn.

She said: “When I found out I had been chosen I was jumping about my living room for joy. I remember lifting up the telephone and contacting everyone in the family.

“This will be a once in a lifetime experience and I can’t wait to carry the baton.”

Rachael has vowed to do it by herself in her electric-powered wheelchair.

Shaun, will be on baton duty in Pittenweem.

He said: “When I got the email saying I had been successful I went absolutely mad, dancing around my house. I can’t wait to take part as it is such a great honour.”