Carrying a torch for the Olympics

Hannah Clarke
Hannah Clarke
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A TEENAGE beauty queen and a young cancer sufferer are among the local people who will help carry the Olympic flame as it makes its way round the UK this summer.

Sula Powell (15), a pupil at Bell Baxter High School and reigning Miss Teen Fife, is one of five torchbearers who will carry the flame through Cupar on June 12, while 18-year-old Hannah Clarke of Kinross is one of three chosen to take part in the Milnathort leg of the relay the following day.

The girls learned of the honour on Monday when organisers of the Olympics announced the names of the 7300 people who will carry the flame on its 8000-mile journey through the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27 for the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Games.

YOUNGEST

An average of 115 torchbearers a day will take part, including a number of others from Fife and Kinross-shire.

Among them are Joe Forrester (13), of St Andrews, who will help carry the torch through his home town while fellow St Andreans Sandie Kennedy (46), James Anderson (22) and Dawn Doherty (40) will take part in the relay through Guardbridge.

Maurice Paterson (30), of Newport, will help carry the flame through Balbeggie, Perthshire, and 29-year-old Glenfarg teacher Emma Mcloughlin will run through Abernethy.

One of the youngest participants is 11-year-old Keiran Rae, a pupil at Falkland House School, who will help carry the torch through Dunfermline on June 13.

All torchbearers have been chosen in recognition of their achievements and the contribution they’ve made to their communities.

Hannah, a former pupil of Kinross High School, has raised thousands for cancer charities despite herself having been diagnosed with a rare tumour in her abdomen.

Two cycles of chemotherapy have failed to shrink it and its proximity to surrounding organs makes it inoperable, so Hannah is dependent on anti-cancer drugs and morphine to control her symptoms.

Once a keen hockey player, she nows finds walking difficult because the tumour has wrapped itself round a vein in her leg, and she suffers from lymphedema.

Despite all this, she has moved out of the family home in Kinross and into student accommodation at Napier University in Edinburgh, where she is studying marketing management and digital media.

Her mum, Gail, described Hannah as ‘inspirational’ and said that the family were incredibly proud of her.

“She keeps us going rather than the other way round,” she said.

“She’s been through so much but still remains so positive.

HONOUR

“Being chosen as an Olympic torchbearer is a great honour and I hope that there’ll be a big turnout to cheer her on.”

Meanwhile Sula, who lives in Windygates, has used her success as a beauty queen to help others, raising thousands for the cancer charity Maggies and the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) by organising fashion shows and other events.

The route the Olympic flame will take was also confirmed on Monday and it’s hoped that local people will turn out in force to cheer the torchbearers on.

On the afternoon of June 12, the torch will make its way through streets in Newburgh, Cupar, Dairsie, Guardbridge and Leuchars.

The following day, the flame will start the day in St Andrews and travel through Milnathort, Kinross and Crook of Devon en route to central Scotland, returning to west Fife later in the afternoon.

Each torchbearer will wear a white and gold uniform that has been specially designed for the occasion.