Suffolk: Olympic torch-bearer nominations to close tomorrow

DOZENS are already in the running but today is the last chance to nominate those you think deserve to carry the Olympic torch on its journey through Suffolk.

Among those already nominated are an anti-knife campaigner who fights to rid our streets of violent crime, an inspirational dancer who has overcome an illness, a dedicated volunteer who goes above and beyond the call of duty, an exceptional musician and sporting hopefuls.

The Olympic torch will travel through Suffolk next summer on its way to the opening ceremony in London on July 27.

On July 5 it will stop overnight in Ipswich, but to get it to and from Suffolk’s county town it is expected to travel through dozens of communities, though the exact route has yet to be announced.

Nominations for London 2012 Torchbearers will close tomorrow at 11.59pm but Adam Baker, Suffolk County Council’s project manager for London 2012 is urging people to suggest people who deserve the accolade.

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He said: “We really want to make sure that the people who deserve to carry the torch while it is in Suffolk, get the opportunity and are put forward as potential torch bearers.

“People who dedicate hours and hours of their time to help others and those people who have triumphed over adversity.”

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Chief constable of Suffolk police Simon Ash has nominated anti-knife campaigner Holly Watson, whose brother Lewis was fatally stabbed in September 2009.

He said: “Holly is a role model to her peers and is the inspiration behind the force’s Bin a Blade knife amnesty campaign.

“Such is the impact of her work she has recently been invited to offer advice to the Government on how best to prevent knife crime.

“The Bin a Blade campaign has captured the imagination of people across Suffolk who have discarded more than 3,000 knives and bladed items since its launch last December.

“Put simply every knife surrendered represents a potential tragedy prevented.

“Holly has unlimited enthusiasm and passion for this cause and deserves to be nominated for all she has done and continues to do to make Suffolk safer.”

Holly, who lives in Sudbury, said she was “absolutely shocked but honoured” to be put forward.

She said: “My first thought was ‘have I got to run’?

“I might have to start training, I am absolutely shocked but so honoured, of all the people in Suffolk it is so nice to be picked.”

Among the other nominees is Tom Withington, 15, a dancer at DanceEast in Ipswich.

The teenager, who lives in Sherringham, Norfolk was close to death last summer after suffering a reaction to his insulin pump, part of his treatment for diabetes.

After a spell in intensive care he pulled through, vowing to dance again.

Mum Liz Withington said: “He is over the moon to be nominated.

“He is pretty incredible, we are very proud of him, he has faced challenges, taken them head on and beaten them.”

Volunteer Derrick Thomas is also up for the accolade. The 75-year-old has recently volunteered to help at the Great East Swim and at Stoke Mandeville as part of the Suffolk 2012 Volunteering Legacy Project.

Mr Baker said some of the county’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, including archer Nicky Hunt, wheelchair basketball star Caroline Mclean and hand cyclist Brian Aldis.

To nominate someone you know visit

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