Olympic Torch Relay
Forty-year-old Sally Murray from Stranraer will carry the Olympic Torch through
Ballantrae on 8 June. Her nomination to carry the Torch read: "She has great motivation
and commitment, is a key member of our team and an inspiration to us all. Sally
deserves this opportunity as recognition for all her hard work and dedication over
the years, we would be extremely proud to give Sally this opportunity."
At the age of 17 months Chris Price, now aged 20, was diagnosed as having Hydrocephalus,
caused by a brain tumour which was successfully removed by surgery. Chris, who lives
in Troon, has gone on to inspire others through his enthusiasm and passion for running
– he completed his first marathon in Edinburgh, raising £230 for CHAS, is a member
of Troon Tortoises, and in May he came fourth in the first ever ‘Rabbie’s Run’ 10K
race which was organised by South Ayrshire Council in conjunction with CLIC Sargent.
Chris has completed an SVQ3 in Business & Administration and is undertaking a Modern
Apprenticeship with South Ayrshire Council. He self taught himself to play guitar
at the age of eight, and now plays to a high level. Chris, who will carry the Olympic
Torch in Ballantrae, actively promotes ‘ability beyond disability’.
Janine Spice, 40, has given years of dedicated service to developing the game of
netball within Dumfries and Galloway for children and adults alike. Married to Owen,
the couple have four daughters – Orielle, 17; Ilise, 16; Hope, 9; and Faith, 8.
Janine trained as a coach and umpire, enabling her to establish netball in local
schools, as well as create an adult league. Many of the teams are now affiliated
to Netball Scotland, with the Galloway Ladies playing in the Scottish Cup. Janine,
who lives in Port William and is chairperson of Galloway Netball Club, also coaches
rugby at her local high school and has established a girls’ team there. She was
nominated to carry the Olympic Torch through Ballantrae by Beverley Chadband, who
is also a qualified umpire with Galloway Netball Club.
Janine says: “It is an absolute honour to carry the Olympic Torch – a once in a
lifetime opportunity. I would like to thank Mrs Beverley Chadband for the nomination
and also Galloway Netball Club for buying the Torch for me.”
Alastair Campbell from Stranraer was nominated to carry the Olympic Torch by his
wife Angela. Alastair, 46, is a support worker and childminder – he stoically supported
his wife through stage three breast cancer four years ago, looking after the couple’s
three children at the same time. Alastair has been a Scout Leader in Stranraer for
12 years and was involved in setting up the Blue Water Kayak Club in Stranraer,
promoting canoeing and kayaking in Dumfries & Galloway and South Ayrshire. He is
also a Cancer Research UK volunteer and has raised thousands of pounds for charity
– he kayaked across Lake Windermere in aid of Breast Cancer Care. Alastair is also
a keen stargazer and is involved in the Rhinns of Galloway Amateur Astronomers Society.
Sixty-one-year-old Steve Grant is a retired Electrical Engineering lecturer from
Kilmarnock College. Steve, who lives in Mossblown, South Ayrshire, was nominated
to carry the Olympic Torch by his youngest son Stuart in recognition for his many
years of service to the Boys’ Brigade and to coaching gymnastics within the local
area. The dad of four and grandfather to six children, has coached gymnastics for
almost 30 years and is a former President of Ayr Gymnastics Club. He was also a
member of the Boys’ Brigade from primary school up to the age of 18, after which
he returned as an Officer, a post he still holds today.
Steve will be repeating family history when he carries the Torch through Girvan
on 8 June as his wife Linda carried the Queen’s Jubilee Baton through the same town
on the same day ten years ago during the 2002 Commonwealth Games relay around the
UK. Steve says: “It is such a strange coincidence that I have been selected to run
with the Olympic Torch through the same town on the same day ten years later. I
really am looking forward to it.”
Peter Kennerley is a lawyer who lives near Minishant, just outside Ayr. The 55-year-old
father of three who is married to Ayrshire-born Ghislaine, stood as a candidate
for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley in the 2011 Holyrood elections, is a member
of the River Doon Fisheries Board and a Trustee of the Boswell Museum and Mausoleum
Trust which aims to restore James Boswell’s mausoleum in Auchinleck. Peter is greatly
involved in organising Ayrshire’s very own three-day book festival in Auchinleck
which attracts more than 1,000 visitors to the area and includes a day of celebration
specifically for children.
Peter says: “I am looking forward to parading the Olympic Torch through Girvan,
in place of an election rosette. It will be a hugely exciting opportunity and a
Debs Millington, 51, set up the Terally Bay Riding for the Disabled Group near Drummore,
Stranraer, in April 2008. Debs, who works part-time as a Customer Service Officer
with Dumfries and Galloway Council and also runs the Terally Riding Centre has battled
cancer twice in the past two years, undergoing major surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
However, her commitment to establishing, running, retaining volunteers and fundraising
the riding centre has never faltered.
Debs, who lives on the Mull of Galloway near Drummore, Stranraer, will carry the
Olympic Torch through Girvan. She is married to Graham and has an 18-year-old son,
Tom. Debs has been horse riding since she was five years old and has a British Horse
Society teaching certificate. She says: “I feel very honoured to be carrying the
Beth Parker, 20, has been passionate about the game of volleyball for the past 10
years. The former Prestwick Academy pupil has been a member of the South Ayrshire
Volleyball Club since the age of 12 and has competed in the Scottish National League
since 2004. Beth, who now plays volleyball for the University of Strathclyde, as
well as South Ayrshire, competed in the under 19 women’s team, winning the Junior
National League Finals in 2008 and 2010, and coming second in 2009. She has also
become a Grade 3 referee and this year managed the East Scotland Girls team at the
UK School Games in Sheffield. Beth, who lives in Prestwick, juggles her university
studies with work, playing volleyball as well as encouraging and supporting others
in the sport. She recently took part in a university exchange trip to Singapore.
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Speirs lives in Rothesay, Isle of Bute. She was nominated
to carry the Olympic Torch through the town of Girvan by Calum’s Cabin, the charity
set up by her family following the death of her twin brother Calum who died at the
age of 12 from an inoperable brain tumour on 16 February 2007. Since then, the family
have raised more than £750,000 and have built Calum’s Cabin and purchased Calum’s
Cabin Cottage which provide holiday homes for families with children with cancer.
Jenna was awarded the Great Scot Award in 2008 for her fundraising efforts for Calum’s
Cabin. She has also received the Diana Award, the Rotary Young Citizen award and
an Argyll and Bute Young Fundraiser of the Year award. Jenna, who has just completed
sixth year at school and is hoping to study Radiography at University, says: “I
am really excited and overjoyed by the thought of carrying the Olympic Torch.”
Ingeborg Takle, 31, from Bergen, a city and municipality in Hordaland on the west
coast of Norway, was nominated to carry the Olympic Torch for her contribution as
a player and trainer of basketball. A versatile trainer and player, she has been
a central leader in the region within the sport. Ingeborg has also been instrumental
in launching training groups for wheelchair basketball, and has also worked for
the organisation Right To Play in Uganda in a bid to try to develop the sport in
Africa. Ingeborg is regarded as a pioneer for the sport within her community.
The only Torchbearer to carry the Olympic Torch through Turnberry, 32-year-old Toni
McIntosh is one of Scotland’s leading female distance runners who has competed at
Scottish international level. Toni is a fully qualified sports massage therapist
who trained at the London School of Sports Massage. Toni, who was born and bred
in Ayrshire, also works as a personal trainer. In 2009 Toni became the first athlete
ever to win National titles at marathon, half marathon and 10K distances in the
same year. Having run for over 20 years, she has overcome a series of injuries in
order to maintain her status as a top runner – her experience is invaluable when
helping fellow sportsmen and women recover from injury. Toni also works as a steward
and marshal at events and takes great pleasure from mentoring and helping others
to take part in running events and get enjoyment from the sport.
She says: “The Olympic Torch symbolises all that is good about the Games and I’m
really privileged to be involved in spreading these positive values and hope that
it will encourage others to give a little bit more in pursuit of their dreams.”
Jari Patama lives in Espoo, near Helsinki, Finland. The 22-year-old, who works as
a sales agent with a telephone network company, was nominated to carry the Olympic
Torch in recognition of his commitment to coaching his local women’s football team
and his enthusiasm and encouragement in helping others get involved in sports and
lead a healthy lifestyle. Jari, whose father also coaches the women’s football team,
is a sports enthusiast who is also proficient in martial arts and gym training.
Jari, who will carry the Olympic Torch through Maidens, says: “I am privileged to
have been chosen to do this amazing task. I am thrilled. It will be a day that I
will remember all my life.”
Graham Strawhorn works as a Fundraising Officer for Ayrshire Hospice, however outwith
his work he continues to actively fundraise for the Hospice. The 30-year-old, who
nursed for six years prior to joining Ayrshire Hospice’s Events team four years
ago, was nominated to carry the Olympic Torch through Maidens by Hospice volunteer,
Barbara Mackie. Graham completed a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of the Hospice
two years ago and is set to do an overseas trek to Peru in August for which he has
raised more than £4,000.
Graham, who lives in Mauchline and is a Cub Scout Leader in the town, also regularly
holds fundraising events for other local charities. He says: “I feel really lucky
to have been nominated to carry the Olympic Torch. It is a huge honour and privilege
and is going to be a fantastic day.”
Eighteen-year-old Natalie Sweeney from Largs was nominated to carry the Olympic
Torch by her Girl Guide leader in recognition of her pro-active campaigning to establish
recycling projects in her home town. Natalie was instrumental in setting up a paper
recycling scheme in Largs Academy, which has been continued by the recycling group
she established prior to leaving school last year. Natalie, who is studying English
at Stirling University, was also chosen to be the Rotary Club’s first Brisbane Ambassador,
promoting Largs’ heritage by running competitions and giving talks at school assemblies.
She is still a fully active member of her local Girl Guides. Natalie says the honour
of carrying the Olympic Torch through Maidens is simply ‘unbelievable’.
Sven Eric Durr
Sven Eric Durr, from Bergen in Norway, has worked within the telecom industry for
five years and has become a highly respected and dedicated Samsung Mobile Phone
ambassador. Also a sports enthusiast, Sven is regarded as a good team player and
is respected amongst his peers. When Samsung introduced a sales competition in the
Telenor chain Telekiosken – the largest retailer in Norway – the 29-year-old quickly
became the competitor to beat. Sven is regarded as an excellent ambassador for Samsung
in the Olympic Torch Relay because of his passion for the brand and the values for
which the company stands.
Nineteen-year-old Alexander Horne was nominated to carry the Olympic Torch as a
result of his long association with the voluntary organisation Who Cares? Scotland
which supports Scotland’s children and young people in care. From Ayr, Alexander
has become a key part of the corporate project within Who Cares? Scotland and arranges
presentations and discussions with training participants. He gives much of his own
time to help get the corporate parenting message across and has supported sessions
in seven local authorities. He is widely regarded as a natural advocate and voice
for young people who have experience of living in care.
A keen and committed sportsman, 17-year-old Craig Macduff from Prestwick hopes to
become a professional footballer. Craig, who has been a cadet with the ATC 137 (Ayr
and Prestwick) Squadron for almost five years, has won many medals for cross-country
running, football, athletics and swimming but counts his Gold medal and trophy for
Scotland and Northern Ireland at the Corps Athletics Championships in 2011 as his
proudest yet. Craig, who regularly fundraises through his Squadron and has been
accepted into a six-day professional football academy, has just completed sixth
year studies at school and hopes to join the Royal Air Force. He was nominated to
carry the Olympic Torch through Maybole by his fellow ATC cadets.
Craig says: “For all my sporting achievements so far, carrying the Olympic torch
will just make me feel like I have done something special. It really will mean so
much to me.”
Forty-year-old Jim Montgomerie from Saltcoats has completed some of the world’s
toughest marathons and endurance races – raising around £300,000 for charity along
the way. He is known as the ‘Running Kilt’ as he insists on wearing a Montgomerie
tartan kilt wherever he is running in the world. Last year Jim ran the full length
of Britain, from the Shetland Islands to the Channel Islands, in aid of Help for
Heroes. He has run ultra marathons in each Continent, including the North and South
Poles. He was the first person to join the Hot and Cold Club, running 100 miles
through the Sahara Desert and 30 miles at the North Pole in the same week – he completed
both with a broken foot. He was also the first person to run 30 miles along the
Great Wall of China wearing a kilt. Jim was elected to be a Councillor in Saltcoats
and Stevenston in 2011. Last year he was named North Ayrshire Citizen of the Year.
Jim is a former pro boxer – as a boxing amateur he was set to fight in the Olympic
trials but broke his hand. He regards carrying the Olympic Torch as a huge honour.
Callum O’Donnell, 20, from Fife is highly regarded throughout the UK within his
sport of fencing. He is a former UK School Games champion, former British Under
17 and Under 16 champion and a Scottish Senior team member. A coach with Fencing
Fun in Edinburgh, he was selected to carry the Olympic Torch by the Bank of Scotland,
Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. He was selected for his
dedication to his sport and inspiring his peers through coaching and other voluntary
work that he carries out within his community. Callum is an athlete on the Bank
of Scotland Local Heroes programme.
Twelve-year-old Ryan Speirs will be handed the Olympic Torch right outside Carrick
Academy, with his whole school lining the streets of Maybole to support him. Ryan
was nominated to carry the Torch through the Get Set network – he is a consistent
sporting achiever who plays football for Ayr United’s Under 13s team and Carrick
Academy’s Under 13s. He won the school’s Junior Sports Championship in May, has
won cross-country championships and was part of the Under 13s Carrick Academy football
team that won the Ayrshire and District Championship this year. He has achieved
high scores in the school’s good behaviour merit system and was voted ‘Pupil of
the Block’ by his fellow students for his efforts in PE class. He is regarded as
an excellent role model to other pupils.
Ryan lives in Maybole with his Mum Hayley, Dad Paul and his three brothers, Jordan,
14, Grant, 10, and Scott, one. Ryan says: “I love the Olympics. I’m good at sport,
I work hard and behave in class and I will be honoured to represent Carrick Academy.”
Ida Ahlbom is a 20-year-old assistant gymnastics coach in her home town of Vaasa,
in Finland. She joined Vaasa Gymnastics Association six years ago and has been instrumental
in creating training courses for coaches in a bid to prevent and detect eating disorders
in young people. Ida was nominated to carry the Olympic Torch by the chairperson
of Vaasa Gymnastics Association in recognition of her hard work.
Ida, who will carry the Olympic Torch in Alloway, says: “It is a huge honour for
me to be one of Finland’s delegates to carry the Olympic Torch. It feels like a
reward for all the hard work I have done over the years and at the same time a great
opportunity to represent my country, my local association and to be a role model
for our younger gymnasts.”
Four years ago, at the age of 50, John Donald joined a gym for the very first time
in a bid to change his lifestyle. Since then, he has lost three stones in weight,
now regularly runs 10k races and is preparing for a half marathon. John, who lives
in Saltcoats, was nominated to carry the Olympic Torch by staff at the Seamill Hydro
Health and Leisure Spa who have been impressed by his progress, his encouragement
to others and his fundraising efforts. John, who works offshore as an Operations
Supervisor for Apache North Sea, now helps organise the Hydro’s annual 10k run in
aid of Breast Cancer Awareness and has raised more than £5,000 towards the charity.
John says: “For me it was an honour to be nominated, never mind selected. Anything
is possible if you put your mind to it – just do it! It is very humbling to be carrying
the Torch in the company of so many brave and inspirational people.”
Seventeen-year-old Kirsty Kane does not allow her Cerebral Palsy to hold her back
in life. Having been in a wheelchair for much of her life, Kirsty now walks, horse-rides,
swims, does karate and zumba, as well as attends Girls Brigade. Kirsty, who lives
in Saltcoats where she attends school, was nominated to carry the Olympic Torch
by Kevin Fawcett, an Irvine-based co-ordinator with the Duke of Edinburgh Award
scheme. Kirsty has achieved her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh medal and is presently
working towards her Silver.
Kirsty has lived in care for a number of years but has been fostered by John and
Susan McMenemy for the past four years – the McMenemys also foster five other children.
The family will all be in Alloway on 8 June to see Kirsty walk with the Olympic
Torch. Kirsty says: “I actually cried when I found out that I had been selected
to carry the Torch. I am just over the moon and will be very proud of myself when
I am carrying it.”
Suzanne Otterson is a former Olympic figure ice skating competitor who represented
Great Britain at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, at the age of
17. She has been a coach with Kyle Figure Skating Club in Ayr for 16 years. Born
in Ayr, the 38-year-old mum of one-year-old son Lewis is married to Richard Macdonald,
an art teacher at Greenwood Academy in Irvine. Suzanne was nominated to carry the
Olympic Torch by Christine Gilloughley, chairperson of the Kyle Figure Skating Club.
During her skating career, Suzanne was British Primary Champion, British Junior
Champion, a NISA Gold medallist and represented her country in numerous internationals.
Suzanne, who will carry the Olympic Torch in Alloway, says: “It will be a great
honour for me to carry the Torch in my home town in front of family and friends.
I hope it will inspire everyone to get into sport and have a healthy lifestyle.”
Thirty-one-year-old Peter Bratcher from Dunfermline, Fife, was nominated by a work
colleague to carry the Olympic Torch in recognition of his work with the Scout Association.
A Project Analyst with Lloyds Banking Group, Peter joined the 62nd Fife (Crossford)
Scout Group as a 6-year-old Beaver Scout. He followed through into Cubs, Scouts
and Venture Scouts before going on to become a Scout Leader, a position he has enjoyed
for the past 10 years. In 1999 Peter achieved the highest award in Scouting, the
Queen’s Scout Award.
Peter, who will carry the Olympic Torch in Ayr, says: “I feel proud and honoured
to have been chosen to carry the Olympic Torch. It’s great to be able to represent
the Scout Association and its thousands of other volunteers who work so hard to
provide fun and adventure to young people throughout the UK.”
Thirty-year-old Gordon Cunningham is an Active Schools Secondary Coordinator within
East Ayrshire. Gordon works with four secondary schools in the area, as well as
an Additional Support Needs School. A graduate in Sports Studies, Gordon provides
lunchtime and after-school sporting opportunities for pupils, and also arranges
holiday programmes. He operates the East Ayrshire Young Ambassadors programme, helps
organise and deliver CSLA classes with PE staff, and works with the local college,
providing students with training on athletics games based activities and placing
them within schools for experience. He has also planned the 2012 Mini Olympics festivals
in his area, and is planning and organising the LEAD 2014 festivals. Gordon, who
spent a summer coaching football in America, is passionate about inspiring young
people to enjoy and participate in sport, as well as to recognise and follow Olympic
A mum of two young boys with different disabilities, Sasha Ratcliffe from Ayr, was
nominated to carry the Olympic Torch by her sister Laura Balfour. Sasha’s first
son Dylan, now 8, was born with half a heart, Hypoplastic Left Heart, which has
required him to have three life saving operations, the first when he was six days
old. He may still need a heart transplant in his teens. Her second son Jack, now
5, was born with Global Developmental Delay, which affects physical and mental development.
Along with her husband Murray, Sasha, 37, has tirelessly fundraised more than £23,000
for Little Hearts Matter, a Birmingham-based charity that supports children with
Hypoplastic Left Heart, as well as Spotty Zebras, a group that she helped set up
for families with children with a moderate to severe disability.
Sasha, who also volunteers at Southcraig School in Ayr, says: “It will be quite
overwhelming to have so many friends and family watch me carry the Olympic Torch
in Ayr. If Murray, Dylan and Jack could run with me it would just be great.”
Born in Crieff, but now living in Bridge of Earn, 29-year-old Kymberley Thomson
works as a Service Administrator at Grassicks BMW garage in Perth. The Dealer Principal
and Aftersales Manager nominated her to carry the Olympic Torch in recognition of
her continual fundraising for local hospitals and Breast Cancer, and her work as
a weekend respite carer for children with special needs. Kymberley’s hospital fundraising
efforts helped purchase a special mobility chair for patients. She was inspired
to raise money after a family friend had been in hospital suffering from a brain
tumour. She has also completed the 26-mile Moonwalk in Edinburgh in aid of Breast
Kymberley, who got married last year and will carry the Olympic Torch in Ayr, says:
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity but I often feel there are many more deserving
than myself. It does not really feel real yet.”