At the end of the closing ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Olympic flags were ceremonially handed over to the venues in the UK which would be hosting events in 2012. One of those venues was Weymouth, and members of the Wimborne AC cross-country team were fortunate enough to run with the flag from Weymouth to Portland.
Four years later the Olympic torch relay passed through Dorset in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics. On 12 July the torch set off from Salisbury heading south-west through Blandford, Shaftesbury, Dorchester, Bridport and Lyme Regis to Weymouth. The following day the torch relay resumed, journeying from Portland Bill via Weymouth, Wool, Corfe Castle, Swanage, Wareham, Upton, Hamworthy and Poole to Bournemouth.
Four Wimborne AC members had the honour of carrying the Olympic torch over those two days. Here are their stories.
Barbara was nominated by Pam Coombes. Pam had this to say about Barb:
Barbara Frampton is one of the most enthusiastic and dedicated members of Gundry Patchers whose aim is not only to enjoy quilting but to raise money for local charities. Barbara has not only helped this group raise thousands of pounds for charity but has run eleven marathons [now 12 as Barbara competed in the London Marathon in April] raising hundreds of pounds for leukaemia.
She helps run Riding for the Disabled in Three Legged Cross and has also raised a great deal of money towards a very necessary toilet block for this charity. In her home village of Tarrant Monkton she also takes an active part in any charitable events held there.
Barbara would be absolutely thrilled to take part in carrying the London 2012 Olympic flame and she certainly deserves the chance for all the things she does to improve other people’s lives.
Barbara ran her first marathon in 1994.
She became one of a small group of roadrunners who met on Saturdays at QE.
Barb became the WAC roadrunners’ Secretary and then took her coaching licences.
She also started up the WAC Thursday night roadrunners’ sessions.
Barbara carried the torch in Blandford on 12 July.
Graeme was nominated by his mum, Sheila, here is the nomination that she submitted:
Graeme, was a talented runner, a Dorset County Champion, competed in various track and cross-country events and aspired to run for England.
In July 2006 he was critically injured in a head-on car crash caused by a middle-aged drunk driver and suffered massive internal injuries and a head injury. His right arm and thigh were broken in several places and his left shin shattered. Without the support of the emergency services and expertise of NHS professionals he would have died.
Graeme was sent home from hospital, for fear he would contract MRSA, was confined to bed for three months and it was 14 months before he was able to walk unaided.
Graeme now suffers from arthritis and has learned to recognise his limitations but continues to run for Wimborne AC where he’s affectionately known as ‘Bionic’! He has competed in charity fundraisers and is now actively involved in coaching, supporting and inspiring the next generation of runners to achieve their full potential.
Graeme says of the Olympic torch relay,
It’s gonna be epic! Ironically it falls six years, almost to the hour, that I woke up in hospital and everything had changed … you couldn’t write this stuff!
Wimborne’s inspirational ‘bionic’ man representing
Dorset in the county cross-country team in 2012
Graeme carried the torch in Wyke Regis on 12 July.
Graeme nominated Ian, here is the nomination that he submitted:
Ian is a coach for Wimborne Athletic Club in Dorset, training children of all ages in endurance running. Under his management the group which he leads has grown considerably in size, and all the children enjoy a lot of success. This success is the result of well planned training schedules, knowing each and every member personally, and making sure each member has every opportunity to achieve their potential.
On a personal level I was injured in a car crash five [now six] years ago and would never have returned to the sport without his support and dedication. He truly inspires me, and I believe everyone else in the squad and therefore I believe he deserves this fantastic opportunity.
Having nominated Ian, Graeme had no knowledge that he had also been nominated!
Ian carried the torch in Bournemouth on 13 July.
Richard, Morag’s husband and nominee, has this to say,
Morag is an inspiration. She is a nurse, mother, has run five marathons, and survived cancer and three bone marrow transplants.
When Morag was asked what her dreams and goals were on being nominated to carry the Olympic torch she responded:
Having had my life on hold for seven years while I survived Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and some rather debilitating side effects following a bone marrow transplant, my passion is life. Through my membership of Wimborne Athletic Club and West Hants Tennis Club I have kept myself fit and am a regular fundraiser for the Lymphoma Association. I have raised several thousands of pounds for this charity through marathon running, walking, cake and plant sales, coffee mornings and making and selling Christmas cards. If I was fortunate enough to carry the Olympic torch, I know I would further inspire the many people who have supported me throughout my illness and who have enjoyed my amazing return to a happy, healthy, active and fit lifestyle.
Morag was race director of the Wimborne 10 for the race’s first few years.
Morag carried the torch in Bournemouth on 13 July.