John announced as torchbearer

A Banchory trampoline coach is among a number of local people who will carry the iconic Olympic flame through Deeside.

John Wills, 65, is one of a team of four to carry the torch through Crathie, as it reaches Deeside on Monday, June 11.

Mr Wills, an Aberdeenshire Council trampoline development officer, was nominated by wife Melanie, also a coach with him at Banchory Trampoline Club.

“I am honoured and very excited about being a torchbearer, probably more so for my wife, who was successful in nominating me,” said Mr Wills. “I was taken on in my role in 1998 and there was such was the demand that in 1999, I formed Banchory Trampoline Club, which is now probably the second biggest club in Scotland.

“We have 170 places in the club and they are all filled, with a short waiting list. I’ve been involved with trampolining since 1961 and started coaching in 1966. I’ve also been involved in disabilities trampolining for 12 years.”

Chris Pinnell, 56, and Ciara Mulligan, 15, both of Westhill; and Hamish Swanson, 14, and Tilly Swanson, 17, both of Culter, will carry the torch through Aberdeen. Izzy Tolometti, 12, of Alford, will carry it through Ballater.

The iconic Olympic flame will be carried through nine Aberdeenshire communities, including Crathie, Ballater, Dinnet, Aboyne, Kincardine O’Neil, Banchory, Drumoak, Stonehaven and Marykirk on Monday and Tuesday, June 11 and 12. Locals are being urged to get involved in the celebrations and share in the excitement of the Torch Relay.

The programme for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, which can be viewed in full at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay, gives street-by-street details and proposed start times for when the Olympic Flame will travel through Aberdeenshire. Residents can find out when it will be travelling along their nearest high street.

The torchbearers confirmed to carry the flame in Aberdeenshire include those who were successful through the public nomination processes run by LOCOG and the Ppresenting artners, Coca Cola, Bank of Scotland and Samsung.

LOCOG has endeavoured to place all community torchbearers within an hour of their nomination address so family and friends can cheer them on.

Each torchbearer will wear a white and gold uniform, which been designed by Adidas.

Sir Robert Smith, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine said: “I am looking forward to the two days the torch will be in Aberdeenshire and Kincardine. It is a great opportunity not only for those who have the honour of carrying the torch but also a real opportunity for those living in the North-east to connect with the Olympics.”