Baton honour for Leven jog leader

Ian Shield
Ian Shield

A Lundin Links runner has been given the honour of carrying the Queen’s Commonwealth Baton when it passes through Fife this summer.

Retired technologist Ian Shield was nominated for the role - along with a number of other Fifers - by members of his jogging group in Leven.

The 64-year-old started up Jog Scotland two years ago and it currently has nearly has 70 members.

The group, which meets at Leven Swimming Pool on a Tuesday night, is part of the national JogScotland scheme which is organised by Scottish Athletics.

There are over 360 groups in Scotland and each one is run by trained jog leaders.

Ian said: “I was a member of a running club in Anstruther when I heard about the Jog Scotland scheme so I decided to train up to be a jog leader

“I had to do a course and after completing it I set up the Leven group.

“It’s for people who would like to start running or jogging but are maybe a bit nervous.

“People starting out can be intimidated about joining a running club and this just helps to ease them in gently.

“Many who joined the group in 2012 have stayed on and regularly take part in 5k, 10k, half-marathon and other events.

“When we enter events our group uses the name ‘Leven Las Vegas Running Club’.

“I really enjoy it, it’s been really great fun and they are a wonderful bunch of people.”

Through time the club has grown and Ian makes every member feel welcome, encouraging them to reach their full potential.

The reason he was nominated for the Queen’s baton is because he is seen as a role model who uses community sport to make a positive contribution to the lives of locals in the Leven area.

Ian said there are also two other groups which have been vital to the success of the Leven club - they are the St Andrews ParkRun (which holds a free 5k run in Craigtoun Park every Saturday morning and is ideal for beginners) and Falkland Trail Runners which has the same ethos of helping beginners and encouraging new runners to improve.

Many of the Leven club also go there on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings.

Ian said: “I don’t know the exact route for the relay yet but have been told we will find out all the details when they are released four weeks before the big day in June.

“It’s going to be an amazing experience.”

Ian is one of a number of Fifers who have been selected to help carry the Queen’s baton on the final leg of its worldwide journey to the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 23.

The community batonbearers were selected by independent panels who considered people’s achievements such as their contributions to their community. The relay will travel through more than 400 communities on its 40-day journey.