Only three of 26 torchbearers from Kingston borough

Only three of 26 torchbearers from Kingston

Wheelchair athlete Jack Binstead from Chessington was snubbed

But women's cycling pioneer Eileen Gray, from Surbiton, made the cut

First published in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News by , Reporter

Only three out of 26 torchbearers honoured with carrying the Olympic flame through the Royal borough have any connection to Kingston.

Hundreds of people from Kingston, Surbiton, Chessington and New Malden applied to become torchbearers in the run up to the Games.

But only 26 lucky individuals will be carrying the flame through the Royal borough - but 23 are not even Kingston residents.

Surbiton resident, pensioner and women’s cycling pioneer Eileen Gray, 92, was selected to be a torchbearer.

She will be joined by Tolworth Girl’s School pupil Sophia Roberts, from Malden Rushett, and Kingston-based Great Britain hockey player Josie Inverdale, daughter of BBC presenter John Inverdale.

On its official website, London 2012 organisers bill the two-month parade of torchbearers as "their moment to shine, inspiring millions of people watching in their community, in the UK and worldwide".

But wheelchair racing star Jack Binstead, from Chessington, was just one of many residents rejected as a torchbearer by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympics Games (LOCOG).

Penny Binstead, the mother of the fifteen-year-old schoolboy, said: "I am a bit annoyed really. I thought all those holding the torch would actually be from the borough.

“It really is a shame that Jack was not picked - it makes me mad.”

Councillor Ken Smith said: "This does not seem reasonable. I would like to ask how they selected people from outside the borough. I don’t understand the logic behind it. It does not seem right.”

In the neighbouring borough of Merton, only one torchbearer has any connection to the borough – he used to live there.

A LOCOG spokesperson said: "LOCOG has worked hard to ensure people are within an hour of their nomination postcode so friends and family can support them and celebrate their role.

"There will be instances where people are not carrying the flame in their home town as the relay is not going everywhere and we are trying to offer people a place no more than an hour away."

In total 8,000 people will be carrying the Olympic torch through the UK.

LOCOG have been unable to reveal how many Kingston residents will be carrying the flame through other boroughs.

Did you apply to be a torchbearer? Give us a call on 0208 744 4288 or email ndewji@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (2)

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7:04pm Thu 12 Jul 12

UKIP Surbiton says...

Great to see that Eileen has been chosen !! Its a complete scandal that only 3 people were chosen from the borough . Is one of the 23 Bruce Macdonald CEO of RBK council ? He doesn't live in the borough either .
Great to see that Eileen has been chosen !! Its a complete scandal that only 3 people were chosen from the borough . Is one of the 23 Bruce Macdonald CEO of RBK council ? He doesn't live in the borough either . UKIP Surbiton
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Sat 14 Jul 12

Beverly RA says...

Where can we find a list, so we can give our three a big cheer.
Maybe the reporter can find out who were the representatives from Kingston who sat on this committee and agreed to only three?
Where can we find a list, so we can give our three a big cheer. Maybe the reporter can find out who were the representatives from Kingston who sat on this committee and agreed to only three? Beverly RA
  • Score: 0

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