Sleaford sports club volunteer 'proud to have carried Paralympic Torch'
A VOLUNTEER who dedicates her time to a Sleaford sports club for children with disabilities says she is proud and honoured to have carried the Paralympic Torch.
Laffletics Club secretary Thelma Smith, 51, carried the Paralympic Torch in the 24-hour relay from Stoke Mandeville to the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games.
Ms Smith, who was selected after being nominated through Sainsbury's, has been involved with the Laffletics Club since its inception in 2004, when the club started on a trial basis.
She said: "I got an overwhelming feeling of pride and honour knowing for that 130 metres I was responsible for the flame.
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"There were hundreds of well wishers, who were cheering us on, including some youngsters in their pyjamas with home made torches. What an experience, I still feel my stomach flutter when I look at my torch, or the photos.
"I am so grateful that I was chosen as one of only 585 torchbearers, mainly for my involvement with the Laffletics club. The whole experience will stay with me forever."
Ms Smith was nominated by Laffletics coach Paul McCarthy.
Mr McCarthy attended the event along with other members of the club and members of Lions and Lioness Clubs.
He said: "Having carried the Olympic torch myself, it was fantastic to see the relay from the other side. Thelma totally deserved the accolade of carrying the Paralympic torch for everything she has done in the community and it was a pleasure for my wife and I to travel down to Watford, albeit at an ungodly hour, to see her moment to shine.
"Even though Thelma was carrying the torch at 2.45am there were still good crowds turning out to see the relay.
"There were some great pictures that captured the moment from start to finish and smiles that will take weeks to disappear from their faces.
"Well done Thelma, everyone who knows you will know how much this meant to you.
"You are an inspiration to all that know you."
To find out more about Laffletics visit www.laffletics.co.uk .
The club is also still asking the public to vote for the club to help them win £5000 community funding.
This can be done by visiting www.lloydsbankinggroupcommunities.com/communityfund/cf_home.asp . Or, you can vote by texting VOTE LN4 to 61119.