Paul to carry Olympic torch

Olympic Torch carrier'Paul drake who has been selected to carry the olympic torch and who is also doing a sponsored trek to all of the tube stations in London.'Picture by Neil Silk 120126'04/01/12
Olympic Torch carrier'Paul drake who has been selected to carry the olympic torch and who is also doing a sponsored trek to all of the tube stations in London.'Picture by Neil Silk 120126'04/01/12

A SCARBOROUGH fundraiser has been selected as a torch bearer for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Paul Drake, of Milton Avenue, is one of 8,000 across the UK who have been given the honour.

The 47-year-old, who is a produce team leader at Tesco’s Westwood store, was nominated by colleague Viv Rennie in recognition of his ongoing commitment to charity work.

It won’t be decided until March whether there will be any other Scarborough people chosen as torch-bearers.

Mr Drake worked at Tesco for 10 years and has been fundraising for the company’s charities of the year for the past three and a half. These have included children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and most recently, the Alzheimer’s Society.

He has raised hundreds of pounds through events such as a sponsored wax and a marathon on a treadmill.

Mr Drake says he is “over the moon” after being selected to carry the torch on June 18.

He added: “It’s a once in a lifetime chance and something that will stay with me forever.

“I normally watch it on TV, but this time I’ll be a part of it.”

A spokesperson for London 2012 said: “We have received tens of thousands of exceptional nominations between May and June 2011.

“Those shortlisted were put forward to selection panels across the UK, who judged each story anonymously.

“With the standard so high, there were difficult decisions to be made as to who would be one of the 8,000 people carrying the flame.

“Nominees had around a one in 11 chance of being a torch bearer.”

Mr Drake has been told he will carry the torch somewhere between Middlesbrough and Hull. The exact location should be revealed in March.

In the meantime he is busy planning his next fundraising challenge, which will see him go to every London Underground station in the quickest time possible.

Mr Drake is asking people to give £1 and guess how long it will take. The person nearest the actual time will win £50.

He said: “I want to do this as a final push for the Alzheimer’s Society, as it is our charity of the year until March.

“I’d like to raise £200 or more and I’ve had great support so far from colleagues and customers.”

If you would like to enter the draw, please go to the Customer Service desk at Tesco’s Westwood store and ask for details.

Mr Drake will be going to London at the end of this month.