Young sportswomen get the chance to carry the torch

IGNITION Maisie Rafferty hands the torch over to Sian Wood in Winchester
IGNITION Maisie Rafferty hands the torch over to Sian Wood in Winchester
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SOUTH Downs College student Maisie Rafferty had her moment in the spotlight after she was nominated for her incredible volunteering role.

The 17-year-old did a 300m leg in Worthy Road, Winchester, yesterday as thousands lined the streets to cheer the torchbearers on.

Since the age of 12 she has been a volunteer lifeguard in Southsea. She honed her skills as a swimmer at Portsmouth Northsea, the club she swam with for six years.

‘The atmosphere was absolutely amazing. My run went by in a flash and it’s all a bit of a blur,’ said Maisie.

‘I was really, really nervous but I had so much adrenaline pumping through me.

‘There were lots of my family and friends there to cheer me on which made it extra special.’

Maisie, a former Priory School pupil, from Southsea, was nominated by her family for her role as a sports ambassador in Portsmouth.

Her dedication to sport saw her represent the city in middle distance running for two years with Portsmouth Athletics Club and win Rookie Lifeguard of the Year in 2009.

She even spends Christmas Day doing a sponsored swim for the Volunteer Lifeguards.

When she eventually finishes her BTEC in outdoor adventure education she wants to take her skills around the world.