Braunton woman to carry Paralympic flame
MS sufferer Christine Westlake will take part in a 24 hour relay to Olympic Park in London on August 29.
A BRAUNTON woman has been chosen as a torch bearer to carry the Paralympic flame on August 29.
Christine Westlake will be among 580 torch bearers, working in teams of five, who will carry the flame from Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire to the Olympic Park in London during an 87 mile, 24 hour relay.
The multiple sclerosis sufferer is wheelchair bound, but has not let that prevent her from being an active and inspirational part of her community.
Sainsburys is a presenting partner for the relay and Christine is one of 100 customers chosen after she was nominated through the Barnstaple store.
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“I was very surprised to be selected as I knew that there were so many other nominations and didn’t think I would be chosen,” said the 55-year-old.
“It is a real honour to be taking part, especially as there were no Braunton torch bearers in the Olympic torch relay. My husband Stan is also looking forward to the relay, he will be pushing me in my wheelchair as I and can’t walk very far.”
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A Guides leader for 36 years and a helper with her local Cubs for the past 14, Christine also organises and runs a weekly lunch for the disabled and elderly, working with a team of volunteers. In 2005 she was named Braunton Rotary Club Citizen of the Year.
She continues to encourage and inspire a variety of people to make a difference – including solo sponsored swims for Cancer Research and abseiling down a church tower. In June, she was carried across the Brecon Beacons for the MS Challenge.
The Paralympic flame lighting ceremony on August 28 will see four flames from London, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh converge on Stoke Mandeville – known as the ‘spiritual birthplace of the Paralympic Movement’ – before being forged into one for the relay to London.