Grantham girl gets her hands on torch

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ALLYS Clipsham was the first Granthamian to get her hands on the Olympic torch this week and described the experience as “absolutely brilliant”.

Teenager Allys Clipsham, a former Central School and KGGS pupil who is currently studying at university in Bangor, ran her leg with the torch on Monday.

She earned the right to carry the torch in recognition of her volunteer work in sport.

Allys said: “The best moment was being on the shuttle bus with the other torchbearers and seeing how excited everyone in Bangor was and how everyone wanted to get a glimpse of who was carrying the torch through their hometown.

“The atmosphere was absolutely amazing and Bangor is only half the size of Grantham so I’m sure it will be even better when it comes to Grantham.”

Allys now has her own Olympic torch. There are plenty of stories in the news about people making considerable amounts of money by selling their torches on the internet but Allys has no such plans.

She said: “I don’t think I’m going to sell it.

“I’ll show it around to schools as well as friends and family who would like to hold it and have their picture taken.

“It’s great to have it to keep...and I’ve managed to get a few free pints out of it too!”

Allys estimates she must have had her picture taken with hundreds of people on her big day.

She said: “Just walking around Bangor people were stopping me and asking to have their picture taken with me and the torch.

“Everyone in Bangor is still excited about seeing the torch, days later.”

The only downside for Allys was running her stretch of the route along a road the general public were barred from lining. She was, however, joined by her family as she ran.

Allys said: “It was a little disappointing to be honest but at least I was able to run with my family and friends.”