Scouts join the Relay
Scouts across the UK have played a key role in the Olympic Torch Relay so far, and they’re set to keep the flame burning for the remaining 29 days of the journey.
At the halfway point in Blackpool last week, the Olympic Torch had travelled 3,901.57 miles through 548 cities, towns and villages. Four million people have already come out to see the Torch Relay, and the Olympic Flame has been carried by 3,529 Torchbearers, many of which have been Scouts.
On 7 July, inspirational Assistant Scout Leader Tom Duncan will carry the Torch through Bury St Edmonds.
Tom, 24, who is with 3rd Sudbury Scout Group, was diagnosed with Henoch Schonlein Purpura (H.S.P), when he was 14. He spent three months in hospital and in intensive care units, though Tom's passion for Scouting and the fantastic support of his Scout Leaders helped him through it.
He said, 'After a long stay in hospital people always are itching to do things they missed. I was eager to get back down to 3rd Sudbury. Even though I was in a wheelchair I was still able to take part in the patrol challenges that we were doing that night.'
Being a part of the Torch Relay recognises his hard work and his volunteering. 'I am so happy that my involvement in Scouting has enabled me to get involved in the Olympics. What a fantastic opportunity!'
Scouts have been busy doing their bit for the Torch Relay this week.
On Monday, Liz Westby, a Beaver Scout Leader from 82nd Chapeltown, carried the Torch through Barnsley, and tomorrow, George, a Young Leader from 63rd Derby (Darley Abbey) Scouts, will carry the Torch through Chesterfield. Fifteen-year-old George was presented with the Chief Scouts Gold Award at the Peak 2010 International Scout camp.
Scouts have also shown their support from the sidelines. More than 400 Salford Scouts and Guides slept over at Salford Quays last weekend in preparation for the Relay. Some 187 Scouts and 224 Guides camped out to make sure they didn't miss out on the action when the Torch travelled through the city.
Scout Leader, Andrew Watson, received great support from the Sheffield community when he carried the Torch on Monday. Andrew is the Scout Leader for 20th Sheffield Scouts and received a huge ovation during his Olympic Torch run.
Andrew said, 'I'm so proud to be a member of Scouts. I've got this honour of carrying this but this [honour] goes to every Scout Leader in the country.'
During the Relay, Andrew got to meet Scouting Ambassador, Lord Sebastian Coe, who commented: 'Our volunteers will play an essential role in the London 2012 Games, much like thousands of volunteers across the UK play an essential role every day in Scouting. The people who volunteer for Scouting inspire young people and help their communities. It's easy to get involved, and can make a real difference to young people's lives.'
See the video below for coverage of Andrew's Torch run.
If you want to get involved in the Olympic and Paralympic games, why not take part in Our Sporting Adventure.
You can also follow the Scout runners on Twitter.
Be part of Scouting
Volunteering for The Scout Association is easy, fun, offers opportunities to get externally-recognised qualifications, and gives you the chance to have a real impact on the development of young people.