Les Welsh, an employee with Northumberland County Council for the past 16 years, will be carrying the flame from Blyth Sports Centre at 1.42pm on 15 June.
His family, members of the Empire Boxing Club Les runs in Blyth as well as many of the children he has fostered during the past six years will be lining the streets to watch him as he completes his section of the relay.
A nationally affiliated boxing coach with 30 years’ experience, Les has run the Empire Boxing Club off Cowpen Road, Blyth, for the past 20 years.
In running the club Les follows the ethos “produce good people first – good boxers second”. The club, which welcomes people from all walks of life and all fitness levels, has produced many national champions but it is much more than a place to train; as a community hub members regularly carry out work in the community helping local people with their gardens and even repairing the local church.
Nominated to carry the torch by his nephew Colin Gilhoney, Les is honoured to be representing Blyth. “I was born and bred in Blyth and I live there now” he said. “I’m very proud of the place and I’m hoping to carry the torch and repay the faith that my nephew, the people at the gym and the children we’ve fostered have placed in me.”
During the past six years Les and his wife Margaret, who is also a qualified Amateur Boxing Association coach who helps run the gym, have fostered more than 40 children as part of a variety of long-term, short-term and respite care placements.
Les said: “It’s very, very rewarding helping children to find their feet. I believe if you can help you must help; when our children grew up and left home we had a spare room and we thought why not help children who need a loving home?”
For more information about the Olympic Torch Relay route in your area log on to northumberlandin2012.northumberland.gov.uk