Olympic torchbearers get ready for historic moment

By Chris Willmott 15/06 Updated: 15/06 14:48

Iraq veteran Karl Hinett suffered 37 per cent burns when his tank was bombed - he will be another of the borough’s inspirational people to carry the torch.

THE OLYMPIC Flame will visit Solihull in less than three weeks - and people can now find out about some of the people nominated as Torchbearers in the borough.

Details of some of those chosen to carry the Olympic Flame on Sunday, July 1 can be found at www.solihull.gov.uk/torchbearers where there is already an amazing collection of stories.

One of those stories is that of 25-year-old ex-soldier Karl Hinett, who suffered 37 per cent burns when his tank was petrol bombed in Iraq.

He then spent five gruelling years of skin grafts and operations at the Burns Unit in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Karl is now an adventure athlete and last year completed 52 marathons, all to raise £20,000 for the hospital unit that saved his life.

Karl said: “I am most looking forward to being able to be a part of the London 2012 Olympics in this special way, being greatly honoured to be chosen for this once in a life time opportunity."

Another local Torchbearer is Andy Foote.

The 48-year-old trustee of Brain Tumour UK has worked tirelessly for the last 12 years raising funds and awareness for children with brain tumours, after tragically losing his son Joseph to the disease.

Andy said: “I'm looking forward to seeing the hundreds of Charity friends and supporters cheering me on with the torch. These are the people who have helped me to receive this honour and this is their day too. I'm especially looking forward to the big party afterwards."

There are also some Torchbearers from further afield running through the borough, including former Miss World Kenya, Cecilia Mwangi.

Councillor Ken Meeson, Leader of Solihull Council, added: “The people chosen as Torchbearers have some truly inspirational stories to tell, and reading them only adds to the excitement of the Olympic Flame’s arrival.

"Everything is set to be a moment for Solihull to shine and should be a fantastic day.”

* The Flame will enter the borough around 7.32am at Solihull Lane (B4025), before travelling down Streetsbrook Road towards Solihull town centre. It will then join Solihull High Street at roughly 8.06am.

After leaving the High Street, the Flame will travel on Church Hill Road and Prince’s Way and then onto Blossomfield Road, passing Tudor Grange Leisure Centre at 8.20am, before continuing along Blossomfield Road and onto Marshall Lake Road.

Around 9.16am the Flame will pass through Earlswood on Shutt Lane, before leaving the borough at 9.30am.

Solihull High Street will be an ideal spot to line the streets and cheer the Relay on.

After the Flame has left the town centre, there will still be plenty to see and do in Mell Square, with a Community Games area, table tennis, table football, air hockey and the chance to try out something new in the Solihull Active sports village.

BBC Radio WM will also be broadcasting live from the town centre throughout the morning from its dedicated Torch Relay bus.

The morning will then be rounded off with this year’s Race for Life, which starts in Malvern Park and ends in Mell Square – the race starts at 11am.

For more details about the Olympic Flame’s visit to Solihull, go to www.solihull.gov.uk/olympics

Former Miss World Kenya, Cecilia Mwangi - one the Torchbearers carrying the Olympic Flame through Solihull.

Andy Foote will be carrying the torch in memory of his son Joseph.

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