Arsenal Football Club are delighted to announce that Arsenal in the Community's Jamie Monteith has been selected to carry the Olympic torch on July 9 through Rayleigh in Essex.
Jamie leads on Arsenal’s social inclusion programme, Kickz, in Elthorne Park. The programme partners the police with the football industry and sees Arsenal managing six separate projects across four London boroughs; Islington, Hackney, Camden and Westminster. The scheme believes in the notion of ‘sport for good' rather than ‘sport for sport's sake' and prioritises social contributions ahead of sporting outcomes.
Jamie has been chosen to join more than 7,300 inspirational individuals to carry the Olympic Flame during its 8,000 mile journey around the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 to signify the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Potential torchbearers were nominated through a variety of programmes run by LOCOG and London 2012 sponsors. They aimed to recognise and reward people with a story of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community.
Jamie was nominated by his peers for the tireless work he has undertaken with young individuals through Kickz and the difference he has made to young people’s lives. Jamie has been involved with Arsenal in the Community since he was nine years old through its hockey scheme.
Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis said: “This is a wonderful tribute to Jamie and the work of the Arsenal in the Community team. It’s fantastic that Arsenal has two representatives in Freddie [Hudson] and Jamie performing this once in a lifetime duty. Their drive, commitment and passion has inspired young people, many from difficult backgrounds, to become the best they can be and this is recognised in performing this very special task.”
Upon receiving the confirmation of his place in the relay, Jamie said: “I’m very humbled to have been nominated and selected to carry the Olympic torch to celebrate the games coming to London. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’ll carry it with the young people with whom we work in mind.”
The Olympic flame arrives in the UK on May 18 and begins its 70-day journey at Land's End on the morning of May 19. It will visit every nation and region and stop off at landmarks such as Stonehenge and the Giant's Causeway. It will pass through 1,018 places as well as visiting Dublin on its journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on July 27.
Following the nationwide announcement, Sebastian Coe, Chairman of LOCOG said: "We hope local communities come out and line the streets to cheer on the Torchbearers, and celebrate the Olympic Games coming to the UK."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 1 May 2012