Jul 29 2011 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Friday
LOCALLY-BASED athletics guru Brian McAusland has been nominated to carry the London 2012 Olympic torch.
The Lochearnhead resident (71) has been involved in the sport for more than 50 years, initially joining Clydesdale Harriers in 1957.
He completes an arduous 100-mile round trip twice a week to coach the club’s budding endurance athletes at their Clydebank base.
And his committment to the cause has resulted in a chance to hold the iconic flame aloft as it tours around the country ahead of next summer’s multi-sport showpiece.
Upon hearing news of the nomination, by former Clydebank club member Allan Faulds, Brian’s grandchildren – Ruaridh (15) and Calum (11) – were so excited they immediately put their granddad on an intense fitness regime.
The family man explained: “The grandkids have been marching me around the front room holding camping torches above my head.
“They want to make sure I’m ready to carry the flame if I get selected, and they’ve been showing me how to hold it far away enough so I don’t get burnt!
“The news was completely out of the unexpected – it was very surprising.
“It would be a great honour to carry the Olympic Torch, I’ve been seriously involved in athletics for over 50 years and it would be something very special.”
Brian is also a life member of the British Milers’ Club and Scottish Athletics, and first began coaching at the age of 24.
He was recently appointed to a national coaching position within endurance running. Despite this honour, Brian admitted carrying the symbolic flame would earn top billing in a long list of achievements.
“Athletics is an obsession of mine,” he added.
“It’s not a sport, it’s more like a drug. Once you’ve started doing it you can’t get away.
“I’ve been a huge part of my life and I get great enjoyment out of coaching and seeing youngsters come through, and it would be a privilege to carry the torch.”
Organisers have said that 8000 people from across the country will carry the Olympic torch for a short time during a relay criss-crossing the UK, which will run from May 19 until July 27 next year.
To nominate someone to be a London 2012 Olympic torchbearer, a scheme backed by the Bank of Scotland, visit the website www.bankofscotland.co.uk/carrytheflame.
Nominations close on September 12. Terms and conditions apply.