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Abertay's Commonwealth Games batonbearers!

2 July 2014

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Abertay and the Queen’s Baton Relay!

Last Thursday we had Rhys Davis running the Inverkeithing leg; on Friday, we had Kezia McCabe, Andrea Cameron and Ali Bell running in Dundee; and on Saturday, we had Ryan Beattie running in Carnoustie!

The baton began its epic journey around the Commonwealth on October 9 last year and, by the time the Games begin, it will have been on the move for 288 days, have visited over 70 nations and territories, and have covered 100,000 miles.

Those who have carried the baton have all been nominated for remarkable reasons, and Ryan is one of 10 extraordinary individuals here at Abertay who have been selected to take part.

He has just completed the first year of his BSc in Sport and Exercise Science, and was nominated for - among other things - his superb work as a rugby coach for Morgan Women’s Rugby Club.

He started coaching them in 2010 after a brief spell at the Dundee Eagles, where he was approached to see if he could lend a hand at Morgan because all their existing coaches were moving onto pastures new.

Since Ryan took over, the team have been promoted to National League Division 1, won the RBS National Bowl in 2012-13, and reached the semi-finals of the RBS National Plate this season, so are doing rather well!

He also coaches on the Tayside and Fife Regional Girls Development Team, has coached on a National Level for U15 and U18 girls, and now also coaches the newly launched women’s rugby team here at Abertay.

In addition, Ryan was winner of the RBS National Volunteer of the Month award in December 2012, so it is great to see his dedication to the sport recognised once again with his selection as a batonbearer!

Speaking about his nomination, Ryan said:

"I’m not entirely sure who nominated me to be honest, as the info I received when I found out I was going to be taking part didn’t tell me. But I’m guessing it was someone from either the Morgan or Abertay women’s sides. Thank you to whoever it was!

"It was a pretty scary thought when I found out I'd be taking part, but it’s very humbling to get recognition for something which is such a large part of my life."

As well as studying full time, Ryan has a five-year-old son to look after, so has limited time to himself. However, he always makes time for rugby, and his coaching responsibilities mean a lot to him.

He explains:

"My favourite sport is definitely rugby. In fact, it’s almost fair to say that my only sport is rugby to be honest. I love most sports, but the only one I set aside time for in a busy life is rugby.

"Unfortunately I don't have tickets to the Games themselves. I had intended to work at the games as a Clydesider and had been offered a role in the Competitions Team so had held off buying tickets, but unfortunately - due to a lack of childcare options - I had to withdraw my application, so it was nice to still be involved in the games as a batonbearer.

"It was an amazing experience! I was incredibly nervous on Saturday morning, but I had my biggest fan (my son Rhys) there to spur me on. The security team made up of Police Scotland officers made me feel very relaxed and were great at bringing out the excitement in the crowd."

Although his career plans change quite regularly, Ryan is hoping to go on to complete a Masters and PhD in Sports Science when he graduates, and to then work as a performance analyst or Head of Strength and Conditioning at a professional rugby club.

Watch this space for more news about our batonbearers - next up is Megan Laird, who will be running in Blairgowrie on Friday!

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