Inspiring individuals

THE Countdown is on as the Olympic Torch begins to make its way across the UK.

There are just 21 days to go before the Torch arrives in Forfar on Tuesday, June 12 and for the Torch Bearers themselves the excitement is really starting to kick in.

All the Torch Bearers were nominated by the people who know them best for various reasons.

Although the order in which they will run through the town has not yet been determined all will head through Forfar which is a mid-point on the route between Brechin and Meigle.

Here we take the opportunity to introduce you to the six Torch Bearers for Forfar in the run up to the Olympic games.

Andy MacLeod will be one of the runners who was nominated for being such an inspiration for those close to him. His nominator said: “He puts a smile on everyone’s face. Andy suffered the loss of a leg last year yet he is back mountain biking already. We are all so proud.”

Andy himself added: “I see this as an opportunity to get involved in the outdoor sports industry helping others in a similar situation to come to terms with their disability and learn what they can still do.

“In future I hope to inspire others by travelling the world and taking part in challenges such as tackling Mount Everest. I also plan to educate children about road safety as if something like this can happen to me it really can happen to anyone.”

Angus woman Carolyn Pierpont from neighbouring town Montrose is always looking for new and exciting ways to raise money for Brain Tumour UK.

Carolyn was inspired to raise money for the cause when her husband Mark was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2009, and although he is now fully recovered, Carolyn still does her best to raise awareness of the condition.

Her nominator said: “The energy and dedication that she puts in to making people aware of the illness and raising money to help research is truly inspirational and humbling.”

Colin Hay provides valuable help and support in his home town of Perth in his role as a youth worker.

He strives to do his best for the young people of the city and one of his finest accomplishments was setting up a breakfast club for the homeless young people of Perth.

His nominator said: “The man is a giant in the field of youth work, and is so inspiring to watch. Colin was the victim in an accident a number of years ago that left him in a coma for a period of time, resulting in a loss of a leg, making his commitment and drive to achieve the best possible outcomes more incredible.”

Also running through the town will be Paul Coxall who was nominated by BP for his extensive voluntary work.

Through his church, Paul organises a number of activities for under-privileged children including a week long holiday each year for the past 15 years.

BP also nominated Stephanie Dowling who is a student at Robert Gordon University. Stephanie has always taken a keen interest in charity work and is described as “an excellent ambassador and role model for students.”

Her nominator said: “Nothing is ever too much for Stephanie who has dedicated many hours of her own time into promoting worthy causes.”

Last but by no means least is Trevor Madigan who has worked tirelessly for the Aberdeen Amateur Athletic Club for 30 years.

Not only a coach, Trevor has also competed himself in High Jump and Sprinting events, even now at the age of 67 he still trains with the club four times a week.

His nominator said: “He is truly a remarkable man with real commitment to athletics. When not coaching or competing, Trevor loves to watch the athletics on TV and he already has high hopes that his one-year-old grandaughter will follow in his footsteps and be interested in athletics.”

The Torch Bearers will be making their way through Forfar from approximately 11.30am starting from the Brechin Road. From there they will run down Castle Street before turning right up the West High Street and out via the Glamis Road.