26 May 2012

 

The Torch comes to Gwynedd

Caernarfon Online were invited to Bangor University today to see the torch up close and to be briefed on day 10 of the torch's journey through the UK. Present were memebers of Gwynedd council including Leader Dyfed Edwards and Hugh Edwin Jones Creative Enterprises Officer as well as members of the LOCOG team organising the event.

Gwynedd council leader Dyfed Edwards was proud that the eyes of the world will be on Gwynedd again on Monday and spoke of past events like the BBC's Big Weekend which are all helping to showboat the area to the masses.

Caernarfon Online's Gareth Edwards is looking forward to the event immensley, saying that the Faenol was fast becoming the place for big events in Wales.

Caernarfon online met up with three of the local torch carriers who will be running the final stages of the trip through Gwynedd. Here is some insight into why they were chosen.

Llew Davies

Llew Davies, 29, is deputy head teacher at Ysgol Cae Top, Bangor. He has been nominated for his outstanding contribution to education.

In 2010 Llew won the UK Teacher of the Year Award, for primary and secondary schools, in the National Teaching Awards and the following year scooped the Pride of Britain's Teacher of the Year award.

He teaches Year Five pupils and is an advisory science and ITC teacher. A highlight in the school's recent history was when he led the children to design and build a gas powered car, with which it came second throughout the UK in the FI in Schools competition.

r- He is also involved in school rugby. cricket and football coaching and also leads the children in exciting projects relating to the environment, enterprise and IT.

In an article in the Guardian ion 20 I 0, Llew was described as:

"a magnet and draws out a longing to do well from all his pupils. He is so energetic and inspires everyone around him."

The teaching award judges said:

"Whatever you call it, the X factor. wow factor, that certain twinkle or spark - Llew has it."

 

Joe Mullaly

 

Joe Mullally, 19, from Bangor has been nominated to be an Olympic torch-bearer for being the driving force behind a community campaign to build skate-boarding facilities for young people in Bangor in memory of his best friend.

In 2009, 18 year-old Darren Rhys Frost was tragically killed in a road accident. Joe, along with Darren's mother, Hazel Frost. became founding member of the campaign and have taken part in several fundraising activities so that two skateparks could be built in the city, as Darren was a keen skateboarder.

A memorial skatepark has since opened at Beach Road in the city and another is due to be officially opened at Coed Mawr in the coming weeks.

Joe has also been recognised for his focus on both his academic work and extra curricular activities, despite suffering a serious injury himself while he was in his teens.

When Joe was 13 he suffered nerve damage in his arm while playing rugby. He was paralysed in his right arm and has since slowly regained feeling and movement. The former Ysgol Tryfan pupil taught himself to write again and also plays guitar and trumpet.

He went on to study for his A-levels at Coleg Menai where he won the Outstanding Progress Award in the annual Further Education Award Ceremony. He is currently working at the microbiology labs at Ysbyty Gwynedd and is due to start studying medicine at the University of Glasgow next year.

Joe also gives his time to help others. He is a keen rock-climber and used to help out at the youth section of the Maes Glas climbing club. He also volunteers with the St John's Ambulance, ensuring that other people can take part in sports safely. He has helped out at an after-school club for disaffected youngsters at Ysgol Tryfan too.

 

Hazel Frost

Hazel has been tirelessly campaigning and fundraising to build skateboarding facilities for young people in Bangor, in memory of her son.

In 2009, 18 year-old Darren Rhys Frost was tragically killed in a road accident. The former Ysgol Friars pupil was a keen skateboarder. In a BBC interview, she said:

"Skateboarding was Darren's passion in life ... He would have loved the idea of having places to go [to skateboard]. ....

Hazel, who works at Bangor University's psychology department, worked closely with her son's best fiend Joe on the project. She has taken part in several fundraising challenges, including hiking Snowdon five times in five weeks: abseiling at Penrhyn Castle; and a Boxing Day dip at Llandudno. She is set to hike Kilimanjaro mountain on 27 July - which is coincidently the opening day of the London games.

Hazel was nominated at torch-barer by her friend Emma Wynne-Hughes, who has also been her training partner for her fundraising feats and will be accompanying her to Kilimanjaro.

Thanks to the efforts of Hazel and the Darren Rhys Memorial Committee, a memorial skatepark has opened at Beach Rod in the City. Another skate bowl, funded by Gwynedd Council working in partnership with the Darren Rhys Memorial Committee, is due to be officially opened at Coed Mawr in the coming weeks.

Hazel's friends, family and colleagues have secretly dubbed together to buy her torch, to keep as a memento of the historic day.

Hazel said: "I can't thank everyone enough for what they have done over the last two and a half years, they have kept me going. I'm getting quite nervous thinking about the relay. It's a weird feeling - I can only compare it to the adrenalin rush I get from to stepping off a wall or cliff while abseiling."

 

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