Leicester students and alumni selected to carry Olympic torch
So we were very glad to see that three of our current students and graduates have already been confirmed as bearers of the iconic symbol for part of its 8,000 mile journey around the UK ahead of the games in London this summer.
Third year Sociology BA undergraduate Lucy Watson was chosen to carry the torch through Waddesdon, near her home town of Bellingdon in Buckinghamshire. The 20-year-old was picked due to her commitment to student-run student-run playgroup SCAMP (Student Community Action Mobility Playgroup) for children with learning and physical disabilities.
Lucy joined the group, which caters for up to 10 children aged between 8 to 15, in October 2009. This year, she became the joint SCAMP leader and organises games and activities for the children on Sunday afternoons in the Queens Hall, Percy Gee.
Alumnus Joanna Hancock has been chosen to carry the torch through Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Joanna finished her BA in History and Archaeology in 2000 and went on to take an MSc in our School of Management, as well as working as a sub warden at Beaumont Hall for two years. She now works as marketing director for Zest Group caterers.
Joanna has embarked on a number of charity fund-raising missions, including completing a 14 day trek of the Great Wall of China, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and finishing a 100km trek from London to Brighton within 30 hours. Joanna is currently preparing to run the Virgin London Marathon 2012 in aid of the prostate cancer, after her father lost his battle with the disease last year. She has raised almost £8,000 for the Prostrate Cancer Charity over the years.
Last month, Matt Short, an undergraduate in our School of Law, was selected as one of the 8,000 official bearers of the torch in recognition of his work in setting up a cancer charity to raise awareness and funds for a rare form of bone cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma.
Matt was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in 2007, and has since undergone 14 cycles of chemotherapy and had an operation to remove his leg below the knee. Last year, Matt set up the Ewing’s Sarcoma Research Trust with his father and uncle, and he has also set up a football coaching scheme for children in his home town of Tonbridge in Kent.
Fourth-year medical student Haresh Selvaskandan, 22, will carry the torch through Leicester on July 2 after being nominated by close friend and fellow medical student Lahi Satharasinghe.
Haresh, who lived in Colombo, Sri Lanka, before coming to Leicester, is Vice Co-Ordinator at student-led national health charity Medsin UK, and has been active in carrying out the group's mission to implement sustainable health projects in communities around the world.
Haresh has travelled to Kenya to work with the Kenyan Orphan Project and helped in the construction of a school for children in Kisumu.
The Sunday Leader in Sri Lanka has featured an article about Haresh and his charity work.
In addition, more than 20 Leicester students are set to take part in the Olympic torch practice relay on 20 April. The rehearsal begins at the National Space Centre, in Leicester, and will travel by train to Charnwood and by boat across Rutland Water before finishing up in Uppingham.
The students involved are: Samuel Rowbotham, Suzanne Burtenshaw, Lucy Watson, Lauren Park, Daniel Tinkler, Ashni Haria, Charles du Couedic de Kererant, Jo-Anna Moore, Kirsty Minnis, Emily Yau, Chris Panteli, John Bull, Jessica Garnett, Benjamin Tanner, Emma Palin, Emma Hoornaert, Megan Arl, Tim Devenport, Benjamin Welsford, Rebecca Clephan and Thomas Pollitt.
A total of 8,000 people will carry the torch on its journey, and more than 60,000 nominations were submitted to LOCOG, the Games Organising Committee, and its three Presenting Partners, Lloyds TSB, Coca-Cola and Samsung. The flame will arrive at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Are you a student, graduate or staff member who is going to be carrying the Olympic torch? If so, let us know with the details of your nomination at firstname.lastname@example.org.