David’s fired up for torch re­lay

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By WIL­LIAM SMITH news@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

David Pope, pic­tured with fel­low Peter­bor­ough Lions Club mem­bers, will carry the Olympic torch in Hat­field. A CHAR­ITY stal­wart is set to en­joy a brush with flame af­ter be­ing picked to carry the Olympic torch.

Peter­bor­ough man David Pope is one of 8,000 in­spi­ra­tional fig­ures cho­sen to bear the Olympic flame as it makes its way around the coun­try in the run-up to the 2012 Games.

The 51-year-old will carry the flame on Day 51 of the Olympic Torch Re­lay – through Hat­field on July 8 – af­ter be­ing awarded a torch bearer place by his em­ployer and London 2012 spon­sor BT.

The firm in­vited nom­i­na­tions for its 70 places from more than 100,000 of its em­ploy­ees world­wide, with David be­ing nom­i­nated by a col­league for his char­ity work with the Lions.

David, from Or­ton Wis­tow, said: “I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted to have been cho­sen and to have my ser­vice to the Lions recog­nised in such as pres­ti­gious way.

“It is a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity to be able to touch the Olympic torch – let alone run with it. The mem­ory will live with me for­ever.”

The fa­ther-of-two, a se­nior project man­ager with BT Open­reach, has been in­volved with Lions Clubs In­ter­na­tional for more than 32 years.

He joined the ju­nior sec­tion of Peter­bor­ough Lions Club, the Leos, as a teenager in 1980 and held var­i­ous posts be­fore be­ing elected na­tional pres­i­dent cov­er­ing the UK, Chan­nel Is­lands and the whole of Ire­land in 1990.

He then joined Peter­bor­ough Lions Club in 1991 and is cur­rently its sec­re­tary.

His nom­i­na­tion specif­i­cally men­tioned a char­ity trek along the Great Wall of China he un­der­took with his fam­ily last Au­gust.

David, his wife Claire and daugh­ters Imo­gen and Is­abelle

They had hoped to raise £250 for the Lions Eye Camp pro­gramme, which helps re­store sight to peo­ple across the world – but they man­aged to raise a bumper £2,250.

David­said­he­has­been­i­n­un­dated with peo­ple con­grat­u­lat­ing him on be­com­ing an Olympic torch bearer, and says he can’t wait to play his part in his­tory.

He added: “This is a fab­u­lous way of recog­nis­ing our un­sung he­roes. There are many hun­dreds of in­di­vid­u­als will­ingly giv­ing their own time to their lo­cal com­mu­nity, and I am car­ry­ing the torch for them.” CHAR­ITY: David and fam­ily dur­ing their re­cent trek along the Great Wall of China which raised £2,250 for the Lions Eye Camp pro­gramme. com­pleted the 10km trek as part of a fam­ily hol­i­day to China to cel­e­brate David and Claire’s 50th birth­days last Fe­bru­ary.

The re­lay lasts for 70 days, from May 19 to July 27, and vis­its 1,021 com­mu­ni­ties.

There are 8,000 torch­bear­ers, each car­ry­ing the torch for an av­er­age dis­tance of 300 me­tres.

An av­er­age of 110 torch­bear­ers take part in the re­lay each day.

41 per cent of torch­bear­ers are fe­male and 9 per cent are male. 8,000 cir­cles per­fo­rate the de­sign of the torch, rep­re­sent­ing each one of the torch­bear­ers tak­ing part.

The torch is 800mm in height, weighs 1kg and burns for at least 10 min­utes at a time.

There are ap­prox­i­mately 3 0 crew on the torch re­lay.

Dur­ing the re­lay the crew will sleep in 14,184 ho­tels and eat 7 ,600 meals.

There are 14 ve­hi­cles in the Olympic Torch Re­lay con­voy.

The Olympic flame will travel on 68 dif­fer­ent modes of trans­port.

BURN­ING AM­BI­TION:

METP-24-05-12BD602 Pi­ic­tures: BEN DAVIS

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