Former head of PE John Hacking carries the Olympic flame past pupils at Risedale Sports and Community College
JUBILANT students and staff turned out in force to cheer on a ‘school legend’ as a former teacher took his place in Olympic history.
More than 400 staff and students from Risedale Sports and Community College travelled to Richmond to watch retired former head of PE John Hacking carry the Olympic torch en route to this summer’s 2012 London Games.
Nominated by teaching staff and students past and present John, who spearheaded the importance of sport at Risedale for over 35 years, ran the final leg of the flame’s journey, through the North Yorkshire market town.
Risedale Sports and Community College associate principal John Kelly said: “This is a very special occasion for Risedale and we brought the entire school along to cheer Mr Hacking along on his run.
“Being an Olympic torch bearer is a great honour and I can think of no one who deserves it more than he does.
“He has done an awful lot to encourage students to become involved in sport both in and out of college, mornings, evenings, nights, holidays and even weekends and although he is an extremely humble man by nature I am sure that he is thrilled to be part of such an historic occasion.”
Passing thousands of flag waving revellers Mr Hacking, one of 8,000 inspirational people chosen to carry the torch, finished his stretch of the relay at Richmond School where he was met by chairman of the London Olympic Games Committee Lord Sebastian Coe.
“This has been such a great honor I am absolutely thrilled,” said Mr Hacking. “Words just can’t describe it.
“I’m hoping that I will see a lot of students inspired by seeing their former teacher carrying the Olympic torch and that it will sow the seeds for them to become more involved in sport in the future.”
Student Aimee Dagnall, 14, of Catterick added: “Mr Hacking was a great teacher.
“When it was a bad day he turned it into a good day and he always had a smile on his face.
“We are all really proud of him today.”
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