Torchbearers all set for big day

Nominated Olympic torch carrier James Hunter puts in some practice, and below, Paul Drake.
Nominated Olympic torch carrier James Hunter puts in some practice, and below, Paul Drake.

Scarborough’s Olympic torchbearers are ready to blaze a trail across the borough – and can’t wait to fan the flames of the London 2012 fanfare.

Supermarket worker Paul Drake and Scalby School pupil James Hunter are two of 8,000 runners across the country selected for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Mr Drake, 48, of Milton Avenue, will take the torch through Filey on Monday June 18, with 15-year-old Scalby School student James carrying the flame through York the following day.

Mr Drake, a produce team leader at Scarborough’s Westwood store, was nominated by colleague Viv Rennie for his long-standing commitment to charity work.

The fearless fundraiser has raised cash for good causes including CLIC Sargent, the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and the Alzheimer’s Society through treadmill marathons and sponsored waxes.

He said while it was slightly disappointing not be running through Scarborough, he was still in buoyant mood.

He added: “Now I know exactly where I am carrying the torch I just want it to happen.

“I cannot wait for the day to arrive, it is like waiting for Christmas and your birthday to tick around.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to be part of the ceremony is very special.

“I want to do the people of Scarborough and Filey proud and be a good ambassador for the area.”

And Mr Drake, who last week visited the Olympic Stadium to tap into the spirit of the sporting spectacle, said he hoped the 2012 Games would prove to be a memorable showpiece across the globe.

He added: “When the Olympics are on TV I always watch them and this is a great opportunity to show the rest of the world that London is just as good as some of the previous host cities.

“We have to go one better than places like Sydney and Beijing.”

Pupil James was equally excited, having been nominated as a torchbearer by his mother Sue Moseley.

James, of Newlands Park Road, shrugged off any disappointment about running in York, and said he was overwhelmed at his selection.

He said: “It is going to be such a brilliant experience.

“I never thought I would be chosen to take part in the ceremony because there were so many people put forward, so to be given the opportunity is such an amazing feeling.

“All of my friends have been so supportive too, and a lot of them have come up to me and shaken my hand and said well done because it is a great opportunity.”