Teacher Jon Tait is over the moon after being chosen to carry the Olympic Torch on a leg of its journey.
Assistant headteacher Jon, from Darlington, has been named as one of the torchbearers for the North East, after his work introducing young people to American football.
Jon, who works at Woodham Community Technology College, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, has introduced more than 300 youngsters to American football in the past ten years. He has also been appointed as a coach for Great Britain.
He said: “I don’t think it has sunk in yet that I will be part of one of the biggest sporting events in the world. It’s just incredible and I am over the moon.”
One of Jon’s pupils at the school, Richie Howe, 15, will also carry the torch on a leg of its journey through Darlington. He was chosen for his efforts raising funds for Diabetes UK.
He said: “I really can’t believe it. I will always be able to say I carried it – I just hope I don’t drop it.”
Sporty Darlington schoolgirl Samantha Gould, 12, has been chosen to carry the torch for her achievements in swimming, volleyball, football and cricket.
She said: “When I think about all of the famous people who have held the torch, it doesn’t seem real that I am actually going to be a part of that Olympic history.”
She was nominated by Kieran Thompson, one of her teachers at Darlington School of Mathematics and Science (DSMS).
He said: “At DSMS we believe in the core values of the Olympics, determination inspiration, respect, courage and excellence.
“Samantha personifies all of those traits and is a role model for sporting excellence and in her academic studies.”