Proud ACF Olympic Torch Bearers

28 May 2012

Last week three ACF adult volunteers from Devon, Somerset and Dyfed & Glamorgan ACF, a cadet from Shropshire ACF and three high-achieving former cadets all from Devon ACF had the honour of carrying the Olympic Torch during the first few days of its 70-day relay.

15-year-old Army Cadet Matty Clarke from the Bishops Castle Detachment of Shropshire ACF carried the Olympic Torch through Ludlow on 24th May. Matty has a genetic disorder, suffers from brittle asthma, has two small holes in his heart, loose joints and has always worn specialist footwear from the hospital and is also dairy intollerant but none of his disabilities have stopped him enjoying being a cadet. Matty is going on his first cadet training weekend away in September. 

18-year-old Ryan Braunton-Turner and 19-year-old Richard Salter carried the flame through Minehead on21st May and in Yeovil on 22nd May respectively. Both were members of the ACF for six years, each rising to the rank of Cadet Sergeant Major. 

20-year-old Mark Edwards former Cadet RSM and Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Somerset and current ACF adult volunteer Matthew Wikinson, were also torch bearers for the relay in Yeovil on 21st May.

Glyn Lancey an ACF adult volunteer runs a detachment in a socially deprived area of Taunton. Glyn was delighted when his whole platoon witnessed him carry the torch through Taunton on 21st May. Glyn commented “It was a fantastic day in my life and one I will never forget, it was a great honour to be selected."

Adult volunteer David Meek ran his 300m section of the relay at 18h20 on Friday 25th of May in Cardiff.  Describing the experience David said “In the afternoon they brought all 15 torch bearers running the first half of the Cardiff relay together, to brief us and meet one another. There were some amazing people in that room, and I felt very humble. There was an amazing atmosphere in the special Olympic torch bearers’ bus, and that was when we all had our first sight of all our torches laid out in a special rack. The day was beautifully sunny and very hot bringing out crowds all along the way. People where shouting and waving the convoy of about 12 vehicles along the route. Whenever we dropped off a torch bearer the whole bus cheered, and they were instantly swamped with people wanting to talk to them, and have their pictures taken with the torch.

People were cheering and waving, I was trying to wave and run without falling over or dropping the torch! After about 100m I saw my family which was a high point for me. When the next torch bearer appeared from the side of the road and it was my turn to transfer the flame, and after wishing him luck, the flame was off to the city centre. My family all came out to support me with their union jacks and ran some of the way with me. It was a superb day to have my family around, and very emotional.”

On 15th June, 23-year old adult volunteer Becky Mathewson from Northumberland ACF will experience her moment of glory when she carries the torch through Newbiggin-By-The-Sea.

Then on 5th July 14-year-old Army Cadet Victoria Simmonds will run with it through Acle in Norfolk. Victoria was nominated for her many sporting achievements, amongst them being the ACF’s Junior Cross Country Winner in 2011. A few days later on 9th July Tegan Young-Blackman from Middlesex and North West London ACF will be carrying the torch through Stoke Mandeville. Tegan is the youngest member of the ACF to have this great honour.  

The Olympic Flame will travel to within an hour of 95 per cent of people in the UK, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey during the 70-day Torch Relay. Find out when it's in your vicinity. Click here to view the Olympic Torch Relay Route

Photos 1 & 2: Adult volunteer David Meek torch bearer from Dyfed & Glamorgan ACF

Photo 3: Adult volunteer David Meek and other torch bearers on the Olympic torch bearer bus

Photo 4: Former cadet Ryan Braunton-Turner Devon ACF

Photo 5: Adult volunteer Glyn Lancey from Somerset ACF on the Olympic torch bearer bus

Photo 6: Cadet Matty Clarke, torch bearer from Shropshire ACF