A DREAM has come true for Featherstone fundraiser Jono Lancaster who has been chosen to carry the Olympic torch in the district.
Jono – who shot to TV fame raising awareness of his condition, Treacher Collins syndrome – found out last week he is one of 8,000 lucky people picked to carry the flame as it travels across the UK to celebrate the start of the Olympic Games.
The 27-year-old documentary star will run with the torch through the city of Wakefield on its 70-day nationwide journey this summer.
Jono said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was nominated, I thought it was too good to be true. It didn’t really occur to me it would happen, but when it became official, I just thought ‘wow, this is reality’ and I started filling up.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it’s something you can tell your grandchildren and become part of history. No words can describe how I feel – I’m extremely lucky.”
The full Olympic torch relay route was confirmed earlier this week and torchbearers will carry the flame on June 25 through Leeds Road, Front Street and Park Road in Castleford, Front Street, Jubilee Way, Mill Hill Road and Ackworth Road in Pontefract; and Pontefract Road and Barnsley Road in Ackworth.
Jono said: “Running down Station Lane would have been amazing but Featherstone isn’t part of the route unfortunately – but Wakefield is right on my doorstep.
“It’s nice for people in the community to see someone they know carrying the torch.”
Fellow torchbearers carrying the flame through Ackworth include 40-year-old Andy Sellars who is registered blind and Pontefract man Mick Cordall, 43.
They will be joined by Charlotte Furlong, 24, who will help carry the flame through Pontefract and Mick Cooney, 39, who will help carry the flame through Castleford.
Kippax fundraiser Ian Meek, who has a brain tumour, will be a torchbearer in York on June 19.
Youngsters at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Pontefract were joined by Wakefield councillors Peter Box and Dave Dagger in celebrating the torch route news on Monday.
Pupils at the Newgate school were treated to a visit from a council sports coach who helped get children in the Olympic mood with themed sports and activities.
The Olympic torch relay route can be viewed in full at www.london2012.com/olympic torchrelay with street-by-street details and proposed start times for when the flame will travel through the Wakefield district.