Ellie’s poignant Olympic date

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A SCARBOROUGH swimmer is set to make a real splash for the Olympics!

Ellie Walls, of West Ayton, will carry the Olympic torch to rapturous applause from huge crowds in Scarborough in May.

However, behind her obvious delight, the 28-year-old student revealed a poignant drive was spurring her along to complete the golden route.

For Ellie is a committed supporter of the Welcome to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association and is currently running a mile for every serviceman and woman killed in Afghanistan.

She said: “I’ll be running in Scarborough with the Olympic Torch and that is an unbelievable prospect.

“But I won’t be doing it alone.

“I will have every one of the servicemen and women with me on the route.

“I am here because of the sacrifices they have made and I want to give something back for everything they have done.

“The Memorial Mile Challenge, which I started in July last year, began with the Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon and has included runs of various distances from three miles to the Frostbite Fifty – a 50 mile run around the Whitby area.

“However that wasn’t the most enjoyable of runs as I got chased by a bull!”

Miss Walls, who is studying nursing at Birmingham City University before continuing her career with the Royal Navy, said her confirmation for the Olympic honour initially brought some confusion.

The Navy swimmer said: “I certainly did not expect to be picked.

“I got the official confirmation in December but they had previously sent me a lot of emails keeping me updated so I didn’t take any notice straightaway.

“It caused some confusion with my flatmate before we realised it was the offer!

“I always used to joke with my mum about being measured up for an Olympic uniform and when I told her I needed one she asked me where I was swimming this time!

“It has taken time to sink in, but it is a great honour.

“There are so many people who deserve this opportunity. To be picked in amazing.

“I’m sure on the day the excitement will be comparative to going away to Disney World and my poor parents will find me unbearable!”

Kelly Williams, a schoolteacher from Scalby, will run through Whitby, with 48-year-old Tesco worker Paul Drake taking it through Filey. The following day, Scalby School student James Hunter will run in York.

The Olympic flame will arrive at Columbus Ravine at 12.28pm and take in Victoria Park Avenue, Peasholm Gap and the North Bay promenade.

After a stop at the Open Air Theatre, it will be back on its way at 1.29pm, going along Burniston Road, Peasholm Gap, Royal Albert Drive, Marine Drive, Sandside, Foreshore Road, Valley Road, Ramshill Road and Filey Road.