AN ARBROATH lady who carried the Olympic torch through her adopted hometown has described the experience.
Cheryl Scotland-Wigg (34), a senior cashier for BP and who now lives in Newmarket, Suffolk, was chosen as an Olympic torchbearer for her charity work with the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, which has seen her raise over £5,000 to support research into cot deaths.
On Saturday, July 7, Cheryl, watched by friends and family and a crowd of thousands lined the streets of Newmarket to watch her run her 300m leg with the Olympic flame.
She said: “It was amazing, it was one of the best things that’s ever happened. You couldn’t describe how amazing it was.
“I’ve never seen Newmarket High Street with that many people on it and no cars. All my friends said how emotional it was and they had tears in their eyes and goosebumps just from seeing the torch.”
Cheryl said her nomination came as a complete surprise. She explained: “It was brilliant, it was surreal. I was reading the email and saying to myself, ‘I’ve been nominated for what?’ It was a brilliant feeling.
“I found out I had been shortlisted in October and got proper confirmation in December.”
One unexpected bonus of bearing the Olympic torch is the impact it has had on fund-raising for FSID.
She explained: “It’s been a major boost. I’ve had so many schools and clubs getting in touch, asking me to visit and they would give me a donation. It’s definitely boosted that.”
At a recent family fun day organised by Cheryl, £2,500 was raised and £700 has been collected in donations from school and club visits and people asking for photographs with the torch.
Laughing, Cheryl added: “I’m like a celebrity! You’re walking round the streets and these kids say ‘Hi Cheryl!’, or parents come up to you and say, I’ve got a picture of you on my fridge with my kid. It’s been brilliant, I really, really enjoyed it.”
Cheryl was also lucky enough to win tickets to see the ladies’ basketball on August 3, she said: “I won those tickets through my work and it was the perfect end to my Olympic year. It was a privilege to see Great Britain play at the basketball.”