Bowls legend selected to be baton runner

Gary Clelland has been chosen to run with Queen's baton.
Gary Clelland has been chosen to run with Queen's baton.

Disabled bowler Gary Clelland may well be nursing the disappointment of failing to make the physically disabled bowls line-up for the Commonwealth Games, but he’s not out yet!

Bellsburn Bowling Club’s larger-than-life personality put up bold and impressive shows to reach the last six; but sadly didn’t reach the final three.

But, there has been a form of swift compensation with Gary’s depth of service to mainstream bowls being acknowledged by his selection as a Queen’s baton carrier in the nationwide relay leading up to the Commomwealth Games event in Glasgow later this year.

Gary joined Kinneil Bowling Club in 1977 as a 17-year-old, having been introduced to the sport by his father John who went on to serve Linlithgowshire as its president in 1989.

Just a year later, in 1978, Gary became the first under-30’s champion ay Kinneil, building on his interest in the sport by becoming the youngest Scottish Umpire at the age of 20 in 1980 and the youngest World Championships umpire in 1984.

Having played and lost in the 1989 final of the Kinneil Championship, Gary moved on to fresh pastures joining his present club Bellsburn in 1990.

And so began a new and exciting chapter of a role that has included the office of President of West Lothian Bowling Association in 2009 .

This year marks his 10th anniversary as Convenor of the West Lothian Masters.

Gary is currently vice president of the Scottish Inter County Top Ten Association while on the playing side he has been a Scottish Disability Para Bowls Internationalist since 2009.

Having played in the 2011 World Championships in South Africa he is hoping to make it to New Zealand in 2015.

“ I am a bit gutted at just missing Commonwealth Games selection, but there is a lot going on for me in bowls and that will help ease that particular pain”.