A flaming finish
The Olympic Torch has travelled through hundreds of communities during the 70-day relay and Scouts of all ages and backgrounds have been involved in the relay.
Yesterday, Jon Sayer, a Scout volunteer from Todmorden in West Yorkshire, had the honour of carrying the Torch to the gates of Buckingham Palace where he was met by the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Duchess of Cambridge requested that a fellow Scout should deliver the Flame to the Palace, and Jon was nominated and chosen because of his commitment to Scouting in his local community.
Jon has been volunteering in Scouting for 16 years. He currently helps run a Cub Scout Pack and an Explorer Scout unit as well as training fellow volunteers. He commented, ‘To get to carry the Olympic Torch is fantastic. To be able to carry the flame and meet the Duchess of Cambridge who is a volunteer in Scouting herself is absolutely incredible. I have had such an amazing day – one I will remember for the rest of my life.’
Jon revealed that he got to meet the Duchess after carrying the flame, where they discussed their Scouting experiences.
‘She does exactly the same activities on a weekly basis as we do. She said she was loving it ... we spoke about the flame and I said “thank you for nominating me”, and she said “I didn’t put you here, you put yourself here."
UK Chief Scout Bear Grylls commented on the inspirational Scout torchbearers:
‘I’m super proud that so many Scout volunteers have been rewarded for the adventures they offer young people with this once in a lifetime Olympic opportunity. The Olympics is all about unity and friendship, two things that Scouting has close to its heart.’
Scouts in the running
Jon is one of hundreds of Scouts who have carried the Torch during the Relay. On day 63, Christopher, a 17-year-old Explorer Scout from Kent, had the honour of carrying the Torch in his home county, while Scout volunteer Joanne Gregory carried the Torch through the village of Trevor, near Wrexham in May.
Scout leader Charles Reith joined the relay in Newburgh in June, and last weekend, 1st Ashtead Gardiner Scout Troop leader, Malcolm McKee, carried the Torch through Barking and Dagenham. Robert, a 16-year-old Young Leader with 45th Newsome Huddersfield South West, proudly carried the Torch through Huddersfield last month.
Even Scouts that weren’t officially involved in the Olympic Torch relay managed to get up close and personal with the Torch. Rearsby Scouts got the chance to hold the Olympic flame thanks to torchbearer and swimmer Andy Banks.
Andy has Down Syndrome and is a Down Syndrome International Swimming Organisation gold-medallist, as well as a recipient of the Queen’s Scout and Gold DofE awards. He visited Thrussington Village Hall to speak to the 1st Rearsby Scouts and share the iconic Torch after he joined the Relay in Melton Mowbray on 3 July.
If you want to get involved in the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic games, why not take part in Our Sporting Adventure?
You can also support the Olympics in true Scout style with our Olympic badge and scarf, available now from Scout Shops.