Coach to be a baton bearer

Colin Christie, coach of Montrose and District Athletic Club who is to be a baton bearer, with youngsters from the club
Colin Christie, coach of Montrose and District Athletic Club who is to be a baton bearer, with youngsters from the club

A Montrose athlete and coach will have the honour of carrying the baton for Her Majesty The Queen’s Baton Relay as it makes its way through Angus.

Colin Christie (47), who has been coach of Montrose and District Athletic Club since it opened in 1985, will be carrying the baton for the Angus leg of the relay on June 28 prior to the Commonwealth Games.

However, he may not be carrying it through Montrose. Colin won’t find out which town in the county his 200 metre stint will be through until four weeks before the event.

Colin won a silver medal at the British Championships in 2012 for decathlon on Great Britain’s golden Saturday, the day when Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford all won gold medals at the Olympics.

He said: “I’m really pleased to have been selected to carry the baton through Angus.”

Colin was nominated by parents of the youngsters he coaches and his wife.

He said: “I would like to thank everyone who nominated me.”

Colin developed his love of athletics at the age of about 12 when he was a student at Brechin High School.

He said his passion for the sport grew because of its diversity.

“There are so many different types of sports within athletics. There is an event for everybody and something everybody can do no matter what their ability or their age,” Colin said.

As well as a medal in the British Championships, Colin has also won the Scottish Masters for decathlon in 2013 and the senior decathlon for Scotland in 2005.

The athlete said he didn’t think Glasgow 2014 or London 2012 have inspired people to take up sport and become more active.

He said: “After the Olympics we didn’t see an increase of new members at the athletic club.

“It’s like the new year affect where people have new year’s resolutions but only keep them for a month or so. People are spurred on to take up sports after these big events, but is often its only short term.

“The problem is that the money is being put into these major events and isn’t being filtered into the grass routes.

“More money needs to be put into the grass routes to inspire people to take up a sport.”

Colin said another issue is that stadiums which are built for large sporting events are only temporary.

“A lot of these facilities that athletes enjoyed using or would keep using in the future are dismantled and return to football grounds or are sold,” he said.

Scotland’s National Stadium, Hampden Park, in Glasgow, will be transformed from football stadium into a international-standard track and field facility for the Commonwealth Games.

The hi-tech Olympic Stadium built for London 2012, which cost £428 million to build and had an athletic track, has been sold to West Ham Football Club.