I hope relay inspires us all

Stuart Barber.
Stuart Barber.

I wonder how many youngsters taken along to watch the Queen’s Baton Relay pass through the district as part of the countdown to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be inspired to not just watch - but take part - in the main event itself in the years to come?

Nowadays you really can’t avoid the message that staying fit and healthy from the earliest age will mean you will feel a lot better and live a lot longer.

Back in the day when I was at school the best periods to look forward to were PE. It was pretty basic then, but I could throw a beanbag and medicine ball with the best of them in the gym at my school which had state-of-the-art facilities including, if memory serves, a ‘wall of pain’ known as a Jungle Gym which a PE mistress in drindl skirt and polo shirt would insist we all climbed up and down many times while she timed us on her stop-watch and only blew her whistle when we were all red in the face and sweating profusely.

In later years swimming, football and cross country running kept the young Barber’s frame taut and flab free. Even when I started work, the office had a high fitness ethic – five-a-sides most Fridays (the closest facility was in Greenfaulds if I remember) was a must and Summer League football as well as tennis at Dollar Park part of the routine.

It does not even seem THAT long ago I was part of Team Herald taking part in half marathons for a good cause – efforts which also had to help slow the ageing process ahead of the mid-life crisis which, don’t you know it, comes to us all.

The challenge I hope our young people will embrace is to give something a try. They will never know where it might take them until they do.