Worcester Sports Student to Carry Olympic Torch on Day One of Relay

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A first year sports student at the University of Worcester will be one of the first people to carry the Olympic Torch as it travels the length and breadth of Great Britain.

Mark Stevens has been selected as a Torch Bearer on Day 1 of the relay, on May 19th, carrying the flame in his home county of Cornwall.

Mark, who is studying Sport Development and Coaching, said: “It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m really excited to have been selected. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

A double amputee, 20-year-old Mark has always lived life to the full, being involved in sport including surfing, wheelchair basketball and CycleAbility.

“I’m really passionate about sport and my ambition is to become an elite coach or a sport development officer,” he said. “The 2012 Games are going to be amazing and I’m hoping to get to see some of the Paralympics.”

Mark is a Student Representative for CycleAbility, Cornwall’s ‘all inclusive cycle club’ which encourages people with mobility difficulties to get out cycling. At the end of last year he was presented with the Cornwall Sports Partnership Young Leader of the Year Award.

He was nominated as a Torch Bearer by both Tim Evans, from his former college, and Steve Hillman, from the Cornwall Sports Partnership.

“It’s a real honour to have been nominated, and an even bigger honour to be selected,” Mark said. “I feel very proud.”

Glyn Harding, Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching at the University, said: “Mark has made a great impact around the University. Students and staff have been aware of how Mark conducts himself and the positive impact he has made upon everyone including his own learning.

“When Mark has coached in schools he has represented himself and the University to the highest standardand has acted as a great role model to younger people than him who happen to have a disability.

“In the last six months, alongside his full time studies Mark, has passed his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award expedition and gained his level 2 basketball coaching award.”