Baton honour for budding designer

Forget the Queen’s Baton — a Mearns Castle pupil has seen the Games-themed baton she designed carried by almost 9,000 schoolchildren from across East Renfrewshire.

Gemma Woods will start her second year at the East Ren school with a spring in her step.

The Newton Mearns girl was the winner of a competition to design a baton to be used by local schools celebrating the arrival of the Commonwealth Games with a relay of their own.

Gemma’s winning entry — inspired by the host city — was made reality by Mearns Castle staff, and used by East Renfrewshire Council’s Active School team as they toured the area for dozens of sports roadshows.

Steven Hale, depute head at the school, explained: “To coincide with the Queen’s Baton Relay coming to Scotland and Glasgow 2014, Active Schools hosted primary school baton relays around East Renfrewshire.

“They set up a competition to design a Commonwealth baton that would represent Scotland, historically and culturally.

“Mearns Castle’s faculty of design — made up of our arts and technical departments — asked their current S1 pupuls to design a baton.

“Gemma created the winning entry, based on Glasgow’s architecture.

“Her winning baton was passed from school to school, with 8,800 children eventually carrying it.”

Designer-in-the-making Gemma won £50 in sports vouchers for coming top in the competition, as well as seeing her design brought to life in time for the Commonwealth Games.