Ripon stars in the running for the flame

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THREE Ripon “local heroes” have been nominated to carry the Olympic torch on its journey around Britain before the games begin.

Lena Conlin and Helen Mackenzie from Ripon and David Greaves from Well, near Masham, are all on a list of candidates to represent their communities by carrying the flame.

David is well-known for his heroic efforts to raise money for research into a cure for Parkison’s, a disease he suffers from himself, and has been nominated for inspiring other people by his charity work.

David said: “I would be very excited to carry the flame. I think it’s a great honour and I would like to represent this area and people with Parkinson’s.”

Lena, who works at Outwood Academy Ripon, has been nominated by her sister-in-law for her work with young people.

Lena is a volunteer youth worker at the Red Triangle Drama Group for 11-18 year olds and takes part in their St Wilfrid’s Parade entry every year.

She has also helped set up a junior section at Ripon Runners, and after taking up marathon running only two years ago has completed several runs to raise money for British Lung Foundation in memory of her father, Eddie Kimberley.

“I don’t think I can say how much it would mean to me to carry the torch,” Lena said, “I would be so pround that other people had wanted me to do it and to represent the community.”

Another sports enthusiast, Helen Mackenzie, is also in the running.

Helen was nominated by a mum whose daughter attends a summer activity camp Helen runs with her husband.

“I would love to do it, I can’t think of anything better,” Helen said.

The Olympic Torch relay will take place in the run up to the games from next May.

The flame will be in York on June 19 and Leeds on June 24, but a detailed route will not be announced until November.

Ripon’s MP Julian Smith has said he is lobbying hard to make sure the parade passes through the area.

l Do you know anyone else who has been nominated to carry the Olympic torch? Contact the Ripon Gazette at or write to Ripon Gazette, 5a Kirkgate, Ripon, HG4 1PA.