Teen’s Olympic honour

Thomas during his leg of the relay on July 4.
Thomas during his leg of the relay on July 4.

A WILLOUGHBY teenager enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience last week when he got to carry the Olympic Torch during its third and final spell in Lincolnshire.

Thomas Evans, 18, carried the torch in Holbeach on Wednesday, July 4, after he was nominated to be an official torchbearer earlier this year.

His name was put forward by a Lincoln couple who had become aware of his community fundraising efforts over a number of years.

Thomas’s recent efforts have included a sports challenge to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and raising money as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award for the bells at St Mary’s Church in Harrington.

When Thomas was 13 he also received the Lincolnshire Young Achiever Award from the Damian Trust for his community fundraising, including organising a sponsored bell ringing and concert event for one Red Nose Day and doing a sponsored bike ride for another Red Nose Day.

Thomas has been a member of the bell-ringing team at St Wilfrid’s Church, Alford since 2006.

He is currently an A-level student at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Alford where he is an Anti-Bullying representative, in charge of the EcoGarden and a member of the Jaguar Cars team.

The couple who nominated Thomas said that despite being born with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder, Aspergers Syndrome, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, which could have potentially isolated him from the community in which he lives, Thomas had thrown himself into a number of local community groups and was achieving well at school.

They added that it was “his enthusiasm and willingness to help in any situation” which had inspired them to nominate them.

A spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School said: “[Carrying the torch] is an amazing achievement, ascertained at such a young age.”