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Susan Boyle set to carry baton as it nears finale

SINGER Susan Boyle and Scotland manager Gordon Strachan have been announced as two of the batonbearers for the final tour of Glasgow before the Games begin on Wednesday.

The relay enters its final three-day stage today at Glasgow Green, with bearers including Anne-Marie Monaghan, who has multiple sclerosis but has gone on to achieve success in a range of sports, and Gordon Robertson, nominated for his role as athlete and coach of GB Paralympic and Special Olympics teams. He will hand the baton to Julia Birkinshaw at the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art.

At the Mitchell Library, it will be carried by Nathan Arbuckle, 17, nominated for his contribution to Glasgow's North East Young Carers.

Bearer Serign Sanneh has been nominated for his role in setting up the Gambians in Scotland Community Association, to help with social integration. Serign will be carrying the baton to one of Glasgow's viewpoints, the Lighthouse Museum.

Another bearer today is Paula McGuire, who will be carrying the baton at Glasgow Caledonian University. Two years ago, she admitted she was "unfit and slow-paced by choice" but, inspired by the city's Commonwealth Games winning bid, Paula tried each of the 17 sports that features in the Glasgow 2014 programme and turned her life around, discovering new passions and new friends.

The last bearer of the day is multi-event, multi-medal-winning Paralympian Michael McCreadie, who will be carrying the baton on stage at the evening celebrations at Springburn Park.

Today's route will see the baton carried through the city centre, including Merchant City, Buchanan Street and George Square, taking in Garnethill, Cowcaddens, Parkhead, Dennistoun, Shettleston, Easterhouse, Garrowhill, Garthamlock, Ruckazie, Riddrie, Royston, Balornock and Springburn.

The relay will also pay a visit to some of the Commonwealth Games venues, including the Emirates Arena, Tolcross International Swimming Centre and Celtic Park.

Tomorrow, the first batonbearer will be Ian Aitken, the leading force of Pedal for Scotland campaign, who will be getting the baton on two wheels at the Riverside Museum.

At Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the baton will be carried by Gillian Black, a middle-distance runner. She will be followed later by the final bearer of the day, Christine Whittingham, who will be bringing the baton on stage at Victoria Park.

On its second day through Glasgow the baton will go through Anderston, Govan, Kelvingrove, Partick, Hyndland, Jordanhill, Victoria Park, Hillhead, Woodlands, Saracen, Firhill, Maryhill, Temple, Knightswood, Drumchapel, Yoker, and Scotstoun. Glasgow 2014 venues visited include the SSE Hydro, Clyde Auditorium and Kelvingrove.

On the final day of the baton relay, on Tuesday, bearers include Teresa Sadler, chairwoman of Castletoun Housing Association, who will be carrying the baton at Castlemilk Community Centre and Sports Centre, which she works for as a volunteer.

Schools-nominated bearer Gary Hannah will take it through Bellahouston Walled Garden. At the Bellahouston Ski Centre, the baton will be brought down the slopes by Jennifer Osborne, a dedicated snowboarder who regularly competes and aims to represent Britain in the 2018 Winter Olympics. She will be joined by 20 other skiers on the day.

The final batonbearer of the day is former athlete Allison Curbishley, who competed in the 400m for Scotland. She will be bringing the baton on stage at the evening celebrations taking place in Queen's Park.

The day will start at Cathkin Braes, with mountain biker Robert Wardell bringing the baton down the cycling track for the beginning of its journey through Carmunnock, Castlemilk, Kings Park, Mount Florida, Toryglen, Polmadie, Govanhill, Gorbals, Pollokshields, Bellahoustoun, Crookston, Govan, Cardonald, Pollok, Mosspark, Dumbreck, Langside, Shawlands, Strathbungo and Queen's Park. Glasgow 2014 venues being visited on the day include the Cathkin Braes mountain bike trails, Hampden Park and Ibrox Stadium.

Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman, Michael Cavanagh, said the baton's arrival in Glasgow was an important signal to both athletes and the public that "the Games are just around the corner".

He said: "The relay offers residents of Glasgow the ideal opportunity to celebrate community sport and show support for their local athletes selected to represent Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014."

Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "The buzz of the Games is getting louder and as the proud host city we can't wait to kick-start them in style when we welcome the Queen's Baton Relay.

"Glasgow is the friendly city and I've no doubt that our local heroes - the batonbearers - will receive fantastic support as they travel through our city's streets.

"This is Glasgow's moment to shine on the world stage and we want to ensure Glaswegians from every part of the city are part of the action, which is why we have ensured the baton will visit every single council ward.

"The Games are a chance to showcase our great city on a global stage and I've no doubt that the people of Glasgow will be the stars of the show."

David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, said the baton had visited hundreds of villages, towns and cities across Scotland with thousands joining the relay.

He said: "The Queen's Baton Relay is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people across Glasgow to celebrate what's extraordinary and unique about their city, and honour those locals who make a difference to others.

"It's a great reason for Glasgow to get out and celebrate the countdown to the biggest festival of sport and culture this nation has ever hosted."

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