Ahead of the Olympic flame’s arrival in Northern Ireland, Amanda Poole caught |up with some of our 450 torchbearers.
Belfast Royal Academy pupil and champion gymnast Holly Hamill (17) from Newtownabbey is carrying the flame in Belfast. She said:
“I hope to be in the 2016 Paralympics. I don’t let cystic fibrosis hold me back, it actually spurs me on. It’s a great honour to be a torch bearer. It’s the Olympics. It’s huge. Hopefully everyone will come out and support us all.”
Ice skater Dempsey Andrews (15) from Dundonald is carrying the flame in Comber. She said:
“I’m really excited. My banners and uniform have arrived. Everyone should get involved in sport. I have had so many amazing opportunities because of my skating. It’s great for health and it’s a career choice I can take on after school.”
Ex- teacher and ultra runner Dave Wilson (64) from Clough is carrying the flame in Holywood. He said:
“I was nominated for my work with kids and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. I had prostate cancer and I raise awareness for that. The day I carry the torch is my 40th wedding anniversary, so it’ll be a family celebration.”
Peter Brittain (19), from Bangor, is carrying the flame in Newtownards. He said:
“I volunteer in a local charity called Fasa which deals with suicide awareness and drug |addiction. I nominated myself to carry the torch, |because ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’. I wanted to use this special day as a way to raise awareness of Fasa and I know it will be a great experience, too.”
David Sharkey (22) from Coleraine is carrying the flame in Bangor. He said:
“I do the night shift at Asda and colleagues nominated me to be a torchbearer for being hard-working and helpful to customers. It is class to be involved. I love sport, especially football, and I can’t wait to watch the Olympics.”
Niamh McHale (15) is carrying the flame in her home city of Belfast. She said:
“I spent time in a children’s mental health unit for depression. I am feeling very positive now and I can’t wait to carry the torch. It’s a great opportunity and amazing to be part of it all.”
Student teacher Natalie Barr (19) from Lurgan is carrying the flame in Ballygally, Co Antrim. She said:
“I was nominated because of my love of sport and for carrying on ‘Charlotte’s Project’, named after my late sister. I am really excited. I hope to buy the torch (£215) on the day and bring it with me to Uganda next week. We have just sent out 14 boxes of hockey equipment, including 290 hockey sticks, and will be picking a second site for a new school.”
Curate Andrew Kerr (46), from Newtownabbey, is carrying the Olympic flame in Carnlough. He said:
“I was nominated for helping to raise £50,000 for the Friends of the Cancer Centre by cycling around all the churches in the Connor Diocese. It’s really fantastic to be involved in something like this. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
June 3: Titanic Belfast, Holywood, Bangor, Newtownards, Comber, Dundonald, Stormont, Belfast Zoo, Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, Glynn, Larne, Drain’s Bay, Ballygally, Glenarm, Carnlough and Glenariff, Cushendall, Ballycastle, Dervock, Bushmills, Portrush.
June 4: Portrush, Carrick-a-rede, Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, River Bann, Cole- raine, Articlave, Castlerock, Downhill, Bellarena, Limavady, Bally- kelly, Greysteel, Derry/Londonderry.
June 5: Derry/Londonderry, Newbuildings, Magheramason, Bready, Ballymagorry, Strabane, Sion Mills, Omagh, Dromore, Irvinestown, Enniskillen, Fivemiletown, Clogher, Augher, Aughnacloy, Caledon, Armagh, Portadown, Gilford, Banbridge, Newry.
June 6: Dublin, Newry, Lisburn, Belfast.