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Tony Blair Sports Foundation Torch Bearers Set to Shine Across the North East

Tony Blair Sports Foundation Torch Bearers Set to Shine Across the North East

With the Olympic Torch Relay well and truly underway, just 66 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games and 99 days until the Paralympic Games begin, Olympic fever is building right across the country.

The Olympic Torch has started to work its way throughout the country and will arrive in the North East in just 23 days. Friday 15 June will see the Torch travel from Alnwick to Newcastle upon Tyne, before it is carried between Gateshead and Durham on Saturday 16 June and then leaves the North East on Sunday 17 June after passing from Durham to Middlesbrough.

Hundreds of people will line the streets in June to catch a glimpse of the Olympic Torch being carried by the region’s Torch Bearers. And these Torch Bearers include some of The Tony Blair Sports Foundation’s members and partners.

Tony Blair Sports Foundation member Adele Waterfall-Brown from Darlington will carry the Olympic Torch on its final day in the North East. Adele is Chairwoman of the North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club and despite being born with limited vision she qualified as a Level 1 tennis coach with The Tony Blair Sports Foundation. In September 2012 she will take part in the Great North Run as a member of Team TBSF, to help raise money for The Tony Blair Sports Foundation to recruit, train and place more sports coaches like herself in sports clubs and schools across the North East.  She said:

“I am really happy about being picked to be a Torch Bearer.  This is such a privilege for me and I will carry it on behalf of all young disabled people to show them that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”

Another Tony Blair Sports Foundation tennis coach will be taking to the streets as an Olympic Torch Bearer. Dennis Laycock (pictured), better known to his local community as ‘Tennis Dennis’, will be part of the Torch Relay on Saturday 16 June. Currently a Level 2 tennis coach based at Lanchester Lawn Tennis Club, Dennis has helped his club to increase its number of junior players by more than 80 since gaining his Level 2 qualification through The Tony Blair Sports Foundation.  He was thrilled to be asked to be a Torch Bearer:

“I was nominated by my brother Melvyn and niece Ruth, and was overwhelmed when it was confirmed that I would carry the Torch.  It was a complete surprise!  I am thrilled and honoured to be a small part of sporting history.”

One of The Foundation’s partners will also take up the Torch on Saturday 16 June in Stocksfield. Susan Hunter, Tyne and Wear Basketball Development Officer for England Basketball, works closely with The Tony Blair Sports Foundation on the delivery of basketball coaching and leadership qualifications across the Tyne and Wear area of the region. She said:

“When I received an email to say that I had been selected to carry the Olympic Torch I had to read it over and over again to make sure I was reading it correctly. It wasn’t until I then got confirmation through the post that it started to sink in. To me personally the Olympics epitomizes everything that is right in the world and to be able to play a small part in it has just blown me away. I truly feel like the luckiest person in the world and can’t get the grin off my face especially now that the relay has begun. To me this is the greatest honour I could ever have!”

The Tony Blair Sports Foundation would like to congratulate all of our members and partners who have been chosen as Torch Bearers, and looks forward to cheering them on their way through the North East.

To follow the progress of the Olympic Torch Relay and to find out more about the Torch Bearers, click here

For more information about how you can get involved with The Tony Blair Sports Foundation, get in touch with us by emailing or by calling 0191 276 0640

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