A podiatry student from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh has been selected as an official torch bearer for the Olympic Games.
Twenty year old Toby Harris, a 2nd year Podiatry student, is to be a ‘Coca-cola future flame’. He will carry the Olympic flame for 300 meters on the 14th June (day 26 of the relay) through the village of Walkerburn in the Scottish Borders.
Toby was nominated for the torch bearing position by his parents, Lee and Simon Harris of Danderhall, Edinburgh and members of the Edinburgh Athletics’ Club of which he is a member. The young student is a keen athlete who is a hurdler for the Scottish National Athletics Squad. Toby was also a member of the National Diving Squad and regularly represented Scotland in both senior and junior national competitions. However, his time as a competitive diver came to a grinding halt with the closure, a few years ago, of the Commonwealth Pool where he initially trained.
Toby will be one of 8000 specially selected people throughout the UK who will be involved in carrying the Olympic torch from its starting position in Land’s End on the 19th May, to John O’Groats and then finally concluding its 70 day journey at the Olympic Stadium in London on the 27th July.
Three thousand inspirational people in Scotland have been selected as torch bearers. Toby was carefully chosen for the position because of his dedication and drive to achieve in athletics and also for his commitment to coaching and nurturing other young people in the sports of athletics and diving.
The former pupil of George Watson’s College, said: “It was very humbling to be nominated as a future flame and it’s a real honour to actually be selected. Three thousand people will carry the torch in Scotland and some of them have incredibly inspirational stories, so I feel very privileged to be recognised and to be part of something so special.”
Toby continued: “I’m really grateful to my parents and Edinburgh Athletics’ Club for nominating me. My parents have always been such a great support, but have never been overly pushy. They’ve allowed me to take everything at my own pace but have encouraged me all the way.”
Now that the Commonwealth Pool is about to reopen its doors again in Edinburgh, Toby is looking forward to coaching youngsters from the age of six years of age as well as senior divers. However, it looks like mid June will very much be set aside for the big day when he has the once-in-a-life-time opportunity to play his part in the run up to the Olympic Games.
Dr Mairghread Ellis, Podiatry lecturer at Queen Margaret University, said: “Toby has set an excellent example of what can be achieved through personal endeavor. He is a great ambassador for Scottish sport, for engaging youth in healthy sporting activities, and indeed for Queen Margaret University. We are very proud to have him as one of our students.”