Jubilation as town celebrates
The Olympic Torch will be carried through Amble at approximately 8.16am on Friday 15 June.
A runner will carry the Olympic flame along the A1068 from Rivergreen, up the Wynd, past The Wellwood and along Albert Street, past the Blue Bell and along to Lindisfarne Road.
Four local people have been selected to be official torchbearers. Last issue we talked to Hilary Brooker-Carey and Josie Goodfellow. Here, Caitlin Simon and James Boyd share their stories.
Triathlon, swimming and Ultimate Frisbee keep energetic Caitlin Simon busy, and are some of the reasons why she has been selected to carry the Olympic Torch on 15 June. The Amble student was nominated by Alnwick Triathlon club, where she has been a keen participant since she was 11 years old.
“I have been helping there since it was set up in 2004,” Caitlin told The Ambler. “I’ve helped run that, I’ve been on the committee, helped organise events as well as competing in some events. I also help at Alnwick District Swimming Club, where I help to teach Rookie Lifesaving to 5 – 13 year olds.”
Caitlin grew up in Amble and attended Coquet High School before leaving to study Civil Engineering at Nottingham Trent University, where she has just completed her first year. She will carry the torch through North Shields, although her exact route and time is yet to be decided.
Despite being lively and energetic, Caitlin confessed to being nervous about carrying the torch. “I’m the clumsiest person you’ll meet,” she laughed . “I’m a bit worried: am I going to drop it, am I going to put the flame out, will I set myself on fire?”
But she will have plenty of support with proud family and friends on the big day. “I’m definitely going to watch her so I can say my best friend is holding the Olympic Torch!” said long time friend Emma Pithman.
Nerves aside, Caitlin is looking forward to the event: “I’m really excited as well, I’m absolutely buzzing.”
Another athletic torchbearer, James Boyd is a youth sports coach, DJ and part time Knight. He is equally excited to have been selected. “It’s a great privilege,” he said, before adding jokingly “I’ve been practising my 300 yards!”
James, who lives in South Broomhill, was nominated by Gallery Youth in Alnwick for his dedication to coaching youngsters at cricket and other sports.
James is a keen sportsman, playing cricket with Warkworth Club for the last seven years, coaching young people in sports at the Gallery Youth project and here at Amble Youth project. “If you add it up, I’ve coached over 1000 kids for free over the years,” he said.
After gaining a degree in Sport Development with Coaching at Sheffield Hallam University and while he looks for a “proper job” he took on the part of a Knight at Alnwick Castle. “I’d love to get a job in sport, but I love being a Knight! I’d rather be outdoors than in an office.”
He won two awards last year; “Outstanding Service to Cricket’s Young Volunteer of 2011” and “Volunteer of the Year” award from Alnwick and District Sports Council.
“It’s going to be a short but sweet moment. Hopefully my Mam and Dad and some of the staff at Alnwick Castle will come down and support me.”