London 2012: England torchbearers revealed

People from across England have been told they have been chosen to carry the Olympic Flame during next year's torch relay.

Some 6,800 of the 8,000 people who will carry the Olympic Flame are being offered torchbearer roles via email.

About 37,000 people applied for the role through the Olympic organisers, Locog, with 28,000 making it through to selection by regional panels.

BBC teams across England have been speaking to some of those chosen to take part:

Moira Starkey - Storridge, Herefordshire

An 84-year-old woman who has raised thousands of pounds for charity became one of the first people to be announced as having been chosen carry the Olympic torch.

Moira Starkey who walks with the aid of two sticks, completed her first marathon aged 83.

She covered the distance by walking around her local village hall 2,000 times.

So far she has raised more than £10,000 for the Haven breast cancer charity.

Her fundraising events have included an annual pancake race and indoor curling nights.

Haven has a centre in Hereford which helps people to deal with the physical and emotional side effects of breast cancer.

She said: "I don't know how I'm going to carry it on two sticks but I'll do the best I can. I'll go on walking around the hall to get fighting fit."

Kenton Cool - Quenington, Gloucestershire

Kenton Cool, 38, holds the British record for the number of ascents of Everest, after scaling the peak nine times.

He said his "jaw hit the floor" when he found out he had been asked to take part in the torch relay.

Mr Cool is planning to climb Everest for a 10th time next year.

"It's just absolutely amazing," he said.

But he added: "I'm a bit concerned. With the torch relay starting on May 19th, that's pretty much summit time on Everest [for next year's expedition]. I really hope I'll be back in time."

George Stocker - Wetherby, West Yorkshire

George Stocker, 12, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008.

Since then he has been fundraising for the cancer charity Candlelighters and has raised more than £50,000.

He was offered his place by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog) after being nominated by 30 people.

After his tumour was diagnosed George underwent more than 80 weeks of treatment including multiple operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

While undergoing treatment he also found time to organise a string of major fundraising events.

On hearing he had been selected to carry the torch, George said: "I am quite nervous, the thought of it makes me shiver."

His father, Roger Stocker, said: "No matter what goes wrong, what is thrown at you, you can come up from being a wheelchair in our case to becoming a torchbearer."

Ena Mallett - Ranworth, Norfolk

Grandmother Ena Mallett, 78, has been a lollipop lady outside Fairhaven Primary School, in South Walsham, for 27 years.

She started learning karate to keep fit in 1979 and has a 7th dan black belt in Spirit Combat International ju-jitsu.

As well as running the crossing patrol twice a day, she also holds weekly martial arts classes in the village.

Mrs Mallett said: "I'm looking forward to doing this for Norfolk. It will be a very proud moment. It's great that 11 people felt they wanted to nominate me."

Andrew Townsend - Bristol

Former Paralympian Andrew Townsend, 39, competed in Barcelona in 1992 as a member of the Great Britain volleyball squad.

He said he was "amazed and privileged" to have been offered a place.

Mr Townsend, who manages Lifeskills, a charity which helps children and adults with learning difficulties, was nominated by his parents.

"Not only is it a once-in-a-lifetime experience but it will be so exciting not just for me but for my family, friends and everybody involved with Lifeskills as well," he said.

Bharat Thakrar - Harlow, Essex

Former youth councillor Bharat Thakrar, 21, from Harlow was one of 6,800 people to have been given a conditional offer by games organisers to carry the torch for 300m (984 ft).

Mr Thakrar, who served as a youth councillor for five years, said he was "over the moon".

The university student was nominated for his services to his hometown between the ages of 13 and 18.

During that time he helped a campaign for a skate park to be built and a youth cafe to be set up in the town.

He said: "It is such an honour to have been recognised for the hard work that I have put into supporting and helping make a change for my peer youth within the community.

"The relay is going to play an important part in bringing communities together.

"It is such a great opportunity for young people like myself to demonstrate what we are able to achieve."

Alice Tai - Barton on Sea, Hampshire

Swimmer Alice Tai will carry the Olympic Torch in July next year.

The 12-year-old, who was born with club feet, was doing her homework when she found out she had been chosen.

"I was so surprised," she said.

Despite being unable to hop, skip or jump, Alice excels at swimming.

She is a member of the Seagulls Swimming Club in Christchurch, Dorset, and has been selected for the GB talent programme for disabled swimmers.

In March she won six gold medals at the national junior disability swimming championships.

Alice, who hopes to become a brain surgeon, said: "I would like to get to the Paralympics, I'm training hard and hope that I can get there."

Her mum, Angela Tai, said: "All the family are planning to be along the route, it will be a huge occasion, absolutely momentous."

Starr Halley - Skegness, Lincolnshire

Starr Halley, 14, began suffering headaches in October 2009 and days later had major brain surgery for a tumour.

Her tumour was discovered after swelling in her neck was noticed at an appointment with an optician and she was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a malignant tumour.

She was not able speak or walk after her surgery and was told she might not be able to walk for six months.

Samsung nominated her for the opportunity to carry the torch.

She said: "I'm so amazed and shocked because it's just an honour. I'm ecstatic."

Starr, who was given the all-clear after a scan in March this year, was given intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy but recovered quickly and managed to run a 5km race within six weeks of her operation.

Her mother Corrina said: "We're so proud of her. She deserves it because she's been through so much and she's so brave."

Sophie Elvin - Plymouth

Sophie Elvin, 17, was nominated to become a torchbearer after being praised for her work with a local theatre club and as a mentor to other young people.

She was offered her place by Locog after a nomination was put forward by one of her colleagues at the Stage Stars Theatre Company.

She said: "I just don't believe that I should be rewarded for what I do there, because I just enjoy it so much."

She added that she was "so excited" because it was "such a privilege".

"I can't believe that I've been picked for it," she said.

"I'm not sure what to expect, but it will be a part of history which I never thought I'd be doing."

Fiona Sheppard - Cambridgeshire

Fiona Sheppard, a 20-year-old student, received the offer to become a torchbearer in recognition of the amount of volunteering work she does in the community.

Miss Sheppard helps run a social group for adults with Asperger's and supports homeless charities and a hospice.

She said she was "humbled and touched" to have been nominated by her friends.

The biochemistry student at Bristol University admitted she nearly missed out on the chance to be a torchbearer, after failing to check her emails and mobile phone messages.

"My parents had to get in touch and say 'just answer your phone, Fiona'.

"I was absolutely shocked and delighted when I found out I was going to be a torchbearer.

"The problem is that I've known about this now for two weeks, and have had to be very mysterious about what I'm up to.

"It's so nice now to let the cat out of the bag."

Mel Brown - Newham, east London

Cheerleading teacher Mel Brown, 22, said carrying the flame would be an "amazing experience".

The Essex primary school teacher, who volunteers to train youngsters in cheerleading, said: "It's an amazing opportunity.

"To be born and brought up in Newham and be representing the youth of Newham will be an amazing experience."

She continued: "I've been doing cheerleading since I was six and it's taught me so much about teamwork and dedication.

"When I work with the children all I have is hope they can have some belief in themselves and go as far as they want to go in life regardless of their backgrounds.

"Courage, resistance, determination - all of those skills we aim to instil in children through cheerleading."

One of her pupils, Sherelle, a 13-year-old cheerleader from Plaistow, east London, said: "She taught me a lot and that's what got me this far in cheerleading.

"She's really nice and she'll push you because she really wants you to do it."

Sarah Thomas - Shrewsbury

Carer Sarah Thomas, 17, looks after both her parents - primarily her mother who has multiple sclerosis.

When she was 12 she posted a video on YouTube to highlight the problems young carers face.

Miss Thomas said: "I'm completely overwhelmed, there's no other real emotions - it's too much to take in."

Her campaigning on behalf of young carers has led to a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron about future government policy.

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