This week, the Queen’s Baton Relay touched home-games soil with community champions throughout Edinburgh passing the baton carefully across the capital. Watching from the pavement of a sunny – yes, sunny! – city centre street, I cheered on Frightened of Fitness’s Sarah Mather as she donned the beautifully conspicuous batonbearer uniform and carried the 1.6kg baton proudly among the residents of her hometown.
Afterwards, I caught up with Sarah and her partner, Karine, at the Ross Bandstand celebration to find out all about the day of a batonbearer.
How does it feel to be a batonbearer?
Completely surreal. I don’t think it has sunk in yet. If I see the video of me doing it, it might, but at the moment I’m a bit like ‘ahhh’!
Why were you nominated to be a batonbearer?
Karine nominated me for all the work that I’m doing through Frightened of Fitness and also all the stuff I do for her day-to-day. It doesn’t feel like I’m her carer, I’m just there, but that’s why she put me forward to be a batonbearer.
Did a lot of people turn out to see you?
They did actually! A lot more than I expected. We weren’t sure who would turn up. My friend Andy and his folks came along, and my Nan, neighbours and god-daughter were there too. It was lovely to see everyone. People that I hadn’t seen since I left school had turned up too.
Was the baton heavy? I’m a bit scared of dropping it!
Not particularly actually. It is only 1.6kg and you are allowed to use both hands!
Were you well looked after beforehand?
I got to my pick-up point at 1.45 pm and my stint was at 3.30 pm. The guys on the bus with us were telling us not to stress and saying they were there to make sure we had a good day so it was lovely. And when three of us on the bus all needed the toilet, they found us a convenient café to use!
Carrying the baton through your hometown must have been special. Did you feel like a real part of the community?
It was nice seeing everyone I knew but, when I took the time to look about, people I didn’t know were cheering me on and it felt really nice. I don’t remember all of it so I’m looking forward to watching it back again!
Karine, how did you feel watching Sarah today?
Incredibly proud. Just to see her walking down with the baton was absolutely amazing. My family all turned out to see her as well, which was great.
Did you have a tear in your eye?
Yeah, I definitely did.
Me too, Karine, me too.