Keeping flame alive for family tradition

GUIDING LIGHT From left, Paul Curtis, Becky Wilson, Mayor of Fareham Dennis Steadman holding a torch from the 1948 Olympics, Fareham council leader Se�n Woodward, Aaron Cook, Laura Carlisle
GUIDING LIGHT From left, Paul Curtis, Becky Wilson, Mayor of Fareham Dennis Steadman holding a torch from the 1948 Olympics, Fareham council leader Se�n Woodward, Aaron Cook, Laura Carlisle

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WHEN Laura Carlisle takes part in the torch relay this weekend, she will be carrying on a family tradition – her grandfather Peter Roland took part in the 1948 torch relay for the last Olympics.

Laura, from Fareham, will be carrying the torch through The Needles Park on the Isle of Wight on Saturday.

Laura, who turns 17 today, will then be heading home to catch the relay as it passes through her home town the next day.

She said: ‘It was only quite recently I found out that he had been in the relay. He died about 10 years ago, so I was quite young, and he never talked about it.

‘He was one of those people who never bragged about himself or his achievements.

‘His torch had been in a local school for a while, but a few years ago they asked my grandmother Margaret if she wanted it back, and it had been at her home in Gosport for years.

‘He would be proud of me. It’s a good family tradition to have.’

Laura earned a place at the Hampshire Netball Academy at 14 and has completed a Sports Apprenticeship at school and has passed her skills on to younger children at local infant and junior schools.

Laura now plays netball at a senior level and is at Havant College where she was offered a place on the gifted and talented scheme.

Her grandfather was chosen to carry the torch because he ran Gosport Athletics Club,

Her parents Karen and Alan Carlisle, of Gaylyn Way, Fareham, nominated Laura.

Karen said: ‘We thought she deserved to do it because she’s always been very sporty, she’s just done her silver Duke of Edinburgh Award, and she’s done volunteering at school and helped with the kids.

‘My dad was a very modest man and never really spoke about carrying the torch.

‘Laura was young when dad died, but they were very close, He’d like it that she’s carrying the torch as well.

The torch will pass through our region on July 15 and 16, taking in Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth.

The Mayor of Fareham Councillor Dennis Steadman has invited Laura to join him when the torch passes through Fareham. He said: ‘It was lovely to see the torch from 1948 and we look forward to welcoming the Olympic flame to Fareham on July 15.’