HUGE HONOUR FOR RUSHCLIFFE TORCHBEARERS
A number of Rushcliffe residents will have the honour of being torchbearers to carry the Olympic flame along parts of the London 2012 Olympic relay route. Harry Clarke, from Lambley, will carry the torch in Rushcliffe. Harry is 19 years old and was a team member of the Dako Flying Angels Vaulting and Gymnastics Display team. He joined the club when he was 11 years old and within four weeks he was invited to join the display team. The Dako flying Angels are a vaulting gymnastics display team of boys between 10 and 18 years. Young people between nine and 18 train twice a week with an ambition to be a Dako Flying Angel team member. Harry devoted his time and energy to his sport, and his passion continues despite the fact that he has now left the team and is currently studying Sports Development and Coaching at Northumbria University. Harry is coaching the junior Dako members during his summer break. One day he hopes to introduce his love of gymnastics to schools and the community giving as many young people as possible the opportunity to experience this sport.
Macauley Davies-Jones, 15, from Cotgrave is over the moon about being chosen as one of the Olympic torchbearers. Macauley attends South Notts Academy (formerly Dayncourt School) and was nominated by Mark Clifford, Positive Futures co-ordinator. Positive Futures works with lots of young people to build their confidence, increase their chances of getting a job or improving their education through sport and other positive activities.
Mark said: “I nominated Macaulay due to the great progress he had made in his self-esteem. He comes to weekly activities and takes part enthusiastically in sport and activities such as cooking. He’s enjoyed boxing and team-building and is a really positive role model for young people.”
Macauley’s mum, Eve, added: “I am thrilled and full of pride. Since coming to Positive Futures, Macaulay has improved his school results, is more confident and he has just secured an apprenticeship with Perkins Academy so he can train to be a chef. These are all great achievements.”
Macauley said: “I’m really excited to be part of history. It’s something I will look back on and remember. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Edwalton’s Thomas Carroll is torchbearing for the Londo Olympics on the Balderton part of the route.
Thomas’s son said: “My father is 80 and runs three miles a day. He is the same weight now as when he did his national service in the RAF. He served in Iraq in the Y service as
a morse code operator. He has looked after my mother who is ill with a stroke since 1997 without any meaningful help from the state. He is determined to keep himself fit by running to enable him to look after mum adequately.
“He believes strongly in self reliance. He has also attended schools to talk to kids about his childhood and his wartime experiences. He also attended schools to help kids with their reading. He gets cheered every day as he runs by school kids waiting for their school bus and wears the t-shirt ‘I’m not 80 but 18 with 62 years of experience’. He gets a smile and is an inspiration to young people every day of the year.”
Vicky Freer (aged 18) has over the last two-and-a-half years been supporting the Bingham Penguins Swimming Club on
a weekly basis, a club specifically designed for developing swimmers with disabilities. Over the years her role in the club has varied from supporting swimmers in the water (including supporting a five-year-old boy with a physical disability and has achieved some great skills with him, including raising his own self esteem, confidence and moveability in the water), photographer, mentor and most recently recruiting new volunteers for the club. When the club was short of support in the adult sessions, it was Vicky that came to the rescue, despite only being only 18 herself, and she now supports an adult female with a severe physical disability in the water on a weekly basis. Vicky won young volunteer of the year at both her local district council awards and the county sports awards in 2011. She has also been nominated for Outstanding Contribution by a Young Adult at the ASA Aquaforce awards.
Also carrying the torch in Radcliffe are Claire Dickerson (34 ) and Jon Buckthorp (33) and in West Bridgford are Alex Eustace (21), Dan Edson (20) and Matthew Galtress (19).