A Loughborough College student has said that finding out she was due to be one of the official torchbearers for the Olympic torch relay – and then being told to keep it secret for two days – was “unbearably exciting”.
Taj Sahota, who is barely 20 years old but has around five thousand hours of volunteering behind her and a role as a National Ambassador for England and British Colleges sport, says to be confirmed by 2012 Games organisers LOCOG as one of the people who will carry the historic flame when it reaches Loughborough saw her “overwhelmed with pride.”
“I was sent an email on Friday and felt shocked but so honoured to have been selected – but that combined with then being asked not to say anything until the official announcement today has been what I can only describe as unbearably exciting.
“I have been volunteering in various sports since I was in year nine and, even as a full- time student at Loughborough College, I continue to do it. My family, friends and teachers have supported me every step of the way in that and say how proud they are of me.”
Taj, from Rushey Meade, is a second year student in Sports Science Management at Loughborough College and was nominated to be an official Olympic torch bearer by Sports Development Officer Rob Jarram. “Taj is an ambassador for the College, going into local primary schools to assist with sports sessions. She has also volunteered at the Special Olympics in Leicester. She puts in hours and hours every week over and above her studies. Her level of commitment to volunteering is inspirational.”
Taj added: “I am so enthusiastic about sport and think volunteering is vital. You become a real role model for young people. I was thrilled to be selected as a National Ambassador for British Colleges Sport. Now this.
“It is massive to think I will be holding that torch, that I will be part of that relay of people right across the country becoming part of Olympic history.”
Taj will be one of 7,300 nominated people and 700 athletes and celebrities who will carry the Olympic flame, which arrives in the UK on 18 May and begins its 70-day journey at Land’s End on the morning of 19 May. It will arrive in Loughborough and be passed to Taj on 3 July.