Sammie’s Olympic gesture

STAR Sammie Roden running with the torch and, inset, with Forhad Ahmed, left, and  Jaf Ahmed from the Akash Indian restaurant in Southsea
STAR Sammie Roden running with the torch and, inset, with Forhad Ahmed, left, and Jaf Ahmed from the Akash Indian restaurant in Southsea
The Cosham Christmas lights switch-on Picture: Habibur Rahman (171607-4489)

Crowds turn out for switch-on of Cosham’s Christmas lights

0
Have your say

STILL on a high after her moment of glory, golden girl Sammie Roden is giving away her Olympic torch in aid of charity.

The 34-year-old has donated her iconic torch to the Akash Indian restaurant in Albert Road, Southsea.

STAR Sammie Roden with Forhad Ahmed, left, and Jaf Ahmed from the Akash Indian restaurant in Southsea

STAR Sammie Roden with Forhad Ahmed, left, and Jaf Ahmed from the Akash Indian restaurant in Southsea

Diners will be given the chance to have their photograph taken with the famous memento of the 2012 games – with proceeds being split between Lupus UK and helping to build wells in Bangladesh.

Sammie, of Northern Parade, Hilsea, suffered a stroke six years ago and has more recently been diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia.

But she braved the pain to take up the honour on July 16 – carrying the torch through Petworth in West Sussex – after being nominated by friend Angie McHale.

Sammie set up her own card-making business for families of the armed forces, specialising in both happy and devastating occasions.

She said: ‘I’ve known the family at Akash for quite a while – I’m a regular diner there and I got to know them socially as well.

‘I heard what they have done for charity and we got talking about whether I would keep my torch.

‘I didn’t want to keep it at home and we came up with this idea.

‘The torch should carry on helping people rather than being sold. The hope is that ordinary Joe Bloggs will have their photo with it, and it will be sent around local schools too.

‘I just needed to know it was going to the right place.’

She added she has been gripped by Olympic fever since the Games started on Friday.

Sammie, a trained sports massage therapist, added: ‘I’m still on a high from running with the torch.

‘I remember sitting down a couple of days after I did it and thought “wow, I’ve held the Olympic torch”.

‘It took a little while to sink in.

‘I have been watching the Olympics and it’s getting quite exciting now that the medals are starting to come through.’

Forhad Ahmed, one of the restaurant’s managers, said he recognised the value of a torch photo opportunity.

He said: ‘The restaurant will display the torch from Sunday through to Thursday, from 5.30pm to 10.30pm.

‘During that time diners can make a donation to the charities and will then be able to photograph themselves with the torch.

‘We think it’s a wonderfully unselfish thing for Sammie to do, sharing the torch with others to raise money.

‘But it’s just typical of what we know about her – she always puts other people before herself.’