Sporting principals to fore

2012 Innerleithen Principles. Aaron Somerville and Aaron. Allan.
2012 Innerleithen Principles. Aaron Somerville and Aaron. Allan.

TALENTED sportspeople will represent Innerleithen in the annual St Ronan’s celebrations, headed by Standard Bearer Aaron Somerville, writes Kenny Paterson.

The footballer was named alongside his Lass, Narelle Allan, at Friday’s introduction night in the packed Memorial Hall.

St Ronan’s chairman Alan Patterson also introduced Naomi Symonds as Lady Busser and Traquair Laird Catherine Maxwell Stuart as principal guest for the Cleikum Ceremonies on Friday, July 20.

Currently at East of Scotland League club Whitehill Welfare, Aaron, 25, previously turned out for home team, Vale of Leithen, top scoring with 25 goals two seasons ago.

The electrician with Scottish Borders Housing Association was a monk during St Ronan’s Border Games of 1997, while his dad Paul carried the Blue Banner in 1979.

Standard Bearer Elect Aaron told TheSouthern: “I have played in some big games during my football career, but Friday was really intense and I am glad it all went well.

“A lot of my pals and guys I have looked up to, including my dad, have been Standard Bearer, so it is something I have always wanted to do. It is going to be a big summer.”

Narelle, 20, celebrates her 21st birthday on July 12 – the first day of St Ronan’s Games Week. She has represented the South of Scotland at hockey at a variety of age levels and plays for Peebles Ladies Hockey Club.

A third year sports and exercise science student, Narelle hopes to become a primary school teacher after completing her degree.

Narelle said: “The first festival we attend is Penicuik next weekend but I wish it was sooner – I just wanted to get started. As for Games Week, I am really looking forward to the Cleikum Ceremonies on the Friday night.”

Addressing Aaron and Narelle at the ceremony, Chairman Patterson said: “Ten weeks tonight you will be installed as Standard Bearer and Lass.

“I offer you the congratulations of the entire town and am sure that you will have a happy and rewarding year in office.”

Lady Busser Naomi has played for Scotland’s junior women’s volleyball side, only last month appearing in the Junior European Championships in Cyprus.

The fifth-year pupil at Peebles High was Dux Girl in 2007 and is hoping to study medicine after leaving school.

Born and brought up in Traquair, and educated at Peebles High, Catherine Maxwell Stuart worked for a number of theatre companies before founding a touring theatre group.

On her return to Traquair in 1990, she took over the running of the house, and is also actively involved in tourism, the arts, heritage and business in the Borders.

After a rendition of On, St Ronans On! with the town’s silver band, the procession made its way through the town before returning to the Memorial Hall where the Standard Bearer’s Reel was performed with its usual energy.