Wandsworth Olympic torchbearers talk about excitement

Streatham Guardian: Rachael Marsh and son Charlie Marsh Rachael Marsh and son Charlie Marsh

Torchbearers have talked about their excitement as they prepare to carry the Olympic Flame through their hometown on Monday.

Rachael Marsh, of Balham, who founded neonatal care charity Ickle Pickles, will be one of the first carriers in Wandsworth.

She was nominated to carry the torch by her husband Andrew Marsh, after she gave up her job to run the charity when son Charlie was born three months premature.

Mrs Marsh, who will carry the torch in Wimbledon Park Road, said: "It is really humbling to have been chosen to do it.I feel very honoured to be part of that group of people in the community who have been nominated to carry it.

"It is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity."

She said she has purchased the torch so her two-year-old and four-year-old sons will be able to have a memory of the special event.

Hayley Rea, 23, founder of Aim High Dance Academy, was nominated to carry the torch after setting up community dance schools in Lambeth, Merton and Croydon.

She said: "I am happy that I am carrying the torch in Wandsworth as it is my local area and our academy branches surround the Wandsworth area. From now on the route will always have an importance for me.

"As Wandsworth is hosting the evening celebration I cannot wait until the actual day when I can carry the torch and then celebrate the occasion and the 2012 Olympics with my closest friends, family and local community."

The last torchbearer on Monday will be Jeffrey Gordon, 78, of Putney who is a member of the

Ever Presents having participated in every single London Marathon.

Mr Gordon still works full time as a legal aid solicitor in Battersea, often working 14 hour days, and first took up running after he caught a defendant who escaped from court.

Wife Shirley Hale said she will be watching Mr Gordon with his son, daughter-in-law and six-year-old granddaughter when he carries the torch into Tooting Bec Common

Her theatrical group The Grand Order of Lady Ratlings will also be cheering him on while holding up a banner.

She said: "We are all immensely proud. I am excited. I don't remember being this excited since I was a little girl.

"He takes it all in his stride, but I think is getting excited underneath."

Join us as we cover the relay through Wandsworth on Monday.

Visit wandsworthguardian.co.uk/olympics for updates and follow twitter page @londonersgames

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