An insider's account of the Torch Relay - Beeston
04 Jul 2012
Paula Punnett with the Olympic Torch
Paula Punnett from Shooting Stars recently ran her leg of the
Torch Relay in Beeston after being nominated by sported. and
selected as a Torchbearer out of tens of thousands of nominees.
Here, Paula reflects on this once in a lifetime experience…
"Being selected as a Torchbearer was an immense honour. To be
recognised for my contribution to the community was quite
emotional. I love the work I do with Shooting Stars and I do
it because I believe it's needed so for that to be acknowledged in
this way was fantastic.
The experience was such a mix of emotions - excitement, pride,
anticipation, you name it! A lot of the young people in our
community don't always get a great deal of parental support so it
was wonderful to see them all out with their parents to watch the
Olympic Flame go by. After I ran, one of the parents gave me a hug
and told me how proud they were which really meant a lot to me.
There is a stereotype in the area that people can't really be
bothered with a lot of things but the whole community were engaged
in the celebrations and the atmosphere was incredible. The
interaction with the police was brilliant too - it's not every day
you see members of the public high fiving the police.
The lead up to my leg of the Relay was such a highlight.
As fellow Torchbearers, we formed strong bonds in a very short
space of time. Everyone was encouraging each other and cheering
each other on.
Taking part in the Torch Relay really showed me the bigger
picture of just how much of an impact our work is having in the
community. It has been wonderful to see people's reactions to
the Torch and has inspired me to share it with as many people as I