Ilkeston’s finest carry torch on its journey to London

Olympic Torch: One of the torchbearers runs his leg as the Olympic Torch makes its way through Matlock.
Olympic Torch: One of the torchbearers runs his leg as the Olympic Torch makes its way through Matlock.

The Olympic torch may have passed Ilkeston by but a handful of the town’s finest citizens, who give up their free time to help others, were honoured this week as they carried the flame through the Midlands.

We have spoke to five of the deserving torchbearers from Ilkeston to find out about the good work they have done to earn their place on the flame’s journey.

Olympic Torch in Chesterfield.

Olympic Torch in Chesterfield.

Carrying the torch was a bittersweet moment for Adrian Sutton, 38, who was nominated for setting up a trust to fund a sensory room for his daughter, who was born with severe brain damage.

Adrian had hoped little Amelia Rose would be there to see her daddy run but sadly she died in April, aged just 16 months.

“It was an emotional day of ups and downs, happiness and sadness,” he said.

But he said the atmosphere during his leg of the torch’s journey was ‘fantastic – just a big party’.

Adrian Sutton carries his flame through Walsall.

Adrian Sutton carries his flame through Walsall.

“The exitement of doing something so unique and sharing that with my partner and my eldest daughter was great,” he said.

The youngest Ilkestonian to carry the torch was 18-year-old Aidan Smith, who is all set to travel to the Olympic Stadium where he will work as a field judge during the Games.

The Derby College student was nominated because of the work he does around the UK

to help youngsters to be more active in sports.

Aidan Smith carries the torch through Lincoln.

Aidan Smith carries the torch through Lincoln.

“It was fantastic,” he said.

“There were thousands of people there watching me run.

“I was really happy to be picked.”

Dedicated fundraiser Michael Turton, 46, said the atmosphere was ‘buzzing’ as he paraded the streets.

Adam White carries the flame across the lake at Holme Pierrepont.

Adam White carries the flame across the lake at Holme Pierrepont.

Since 2002 Michael has raised thousands of pounds taking part in charity runs and cycle rides, including the gruelling Keswick to Barrow 40-mile run in the Lake District and Land’s End to John O’Groats on a six-seater bike.

“It was an amazing day right from the very start,” he said.

Michael, who works at Rolls Royce, was nominated by his family.

Grant Barker, of Kirk Hallam, has been an athletics coach in the area for more than 20 years.

The 45-year-old was one of three coaches who set up Kirk Hallam Athletics Club and since then has helped countless budding athletes aged from 15 to 44 achieve their dreams – and all in his spare time.

He now coaches at Nottinghamshire Athletics CLub seven days a week on a voluntary basis.

“It was amazing,” he said, “Better than I thought it could have been.”

He was nominated by his daughter Chloe.

“The coaching is something I’ve dedicated myself to – it isn’t just a hobby.”

University student Adam White, of Stapleford, was nominated for the work he has done at Phoenix Tramplining Club in Kirk Hallam, since he became a coach at the age of 16.

Last year at the age of 20 he became the youngest level four trampoline coach in the UK.

Adam coaches at least nine hours a week voluntarily alongside his studies at Nottingham Trent and works in schools to give children a taste of the sport.

He said on the Olympic torch website: “I’m not a person of many words and being nominated is very nice but I’m not in my sport for rewards.”