A SPORTS-LOVING youngster, a teenager who has defied the odds and a local environmental champion are this week coming to terms with being honoured to carry the Olympic Flame on its relay round the UK.
The three torchbearers from Queensferry are 12 year-old Kai Wong, John Beaton (19) and Joyce Faulkner (59) are all “over the moon” that they have been nominated to run a leg of the relay when the Olympic Flame comes to the Lothians on June 13 and 14.
All three were nominated for being inspirational among their local community and each thoroughly deserve the honour of carrying the Flame.
Young Kai is an S1 pupil at Clifton Hall School who previously attended Echline Primary.
From a young age he has had medical problems and has only one kidney, which means that he cannot take part in contact sports.
Mum Yasmin said: “We are really excited for Kai, it is absolutely fabulous that he is going to be part of the Olympic Games. It has not really sunk in yet but we are so proud for Kai after what he has been through.”
A school spokesperson added: ‘‘Kai came to Clifton Hall last September and during our first games session, he demonstrated exceptional levels of fitness and a willing to get involved in both rugby and football. Unfortunately Kai is unable to participate in full contact rugby but has attended every games session since the start of the year, despite the fact he will never get to play.”
Kai will be one of the youngest torchbearers to take part in the relay around the UK and will carry the torch enroute in Edinburgh on Thursday, June 14.
Closer to home, 19-year- old John Beaton will carry the Flame within the grounds of Hopetoun estate.
John was diagnosed with Aspergers at 17 but he has displayed his own unique Olympic spirit in the face of adversity. His never-say-never attitude has led him to be a rugby referee, a Scout leader, a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament and to get a job with Edinburgh City Council.
John said: “I’m really excited to have been chosen, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Being a London torchbearer is a great honour, and one I hope I can carry out to an exemplary standard for all those people who find it difficult in life because they have some form of disability, whether it is learning related or physical.”
Finally, better known to many as the Ferry’s environmental champion, Joyce Faulkner completes the list when she carries the Flame from Crossford in Fife towards Queensferry.
The chair of GreenFerry and CleanFerry, environmental groups which help make Queensferry a more colourful and tidier community, calls herself a “volunteer addict” and added: “At the recent GreenFerry and Friends of Ferry Glen AGMs I thought that any one of the people there could be carrying that flame. Queensferry is truly the volunteer capital of the world and I’ve decided I’m representing the hundreds of volunteers in our village.”