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Soroptimist ‘thrilled’ to carry torch in her town
A 74-year-old Ilkley Soroptimist recognised for her work championing the rights of the underprivileged across the world will carry the Olympic Torch in Ilkley this Sunday.
Former nurse Margaret Cook, who is also a school governor at Ben Rhydding Primary School, will be one of three people to carry the torch as part of its relay through Ilkley on Sunday afternoon.
She was nominated by former president of the local Soroptimists group, Anne Mary Inglehearn.
Mrs Cook’s work with the organisation has taken her all over the world over the past 20 years, most recently to Sierra Leone where the Soroptimists have provided help to teenage mothers, vulnerable families and street children to improve their lives.
She said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be chosen and am so excited to bear the torch in Ilkley where my children can watch me.”
The Soroptimists aim to raise the quality of lives of girls and women locally, nationally and internationally.
In Ilkley their wide range of work has included raising awareness about breast cancer and domestic violence, and recently they managed to get a tennis wall built with the help of Bradford Council to introduce youngsters to the sport.
Also carrying the torch on Saturday will be Ilkley father-of-two Steve Newell, who will be carrying it in Bradford.
Other Wharfedale people have already carried the torch on other parts of the relay around Yorkshire.
Ilkley’s John Bretherick was a torchbearer in Wetherby on Tuesday, while Otley Prince Henry’s Grammar School students Danielle Bailey and Megan Smith, both 13, were also torchbearers on Tuesday.
Prince Henry’s Grammar School students Danielle Bailey and Megan Smith, both 13, will help the Olympic flame on its way through Yorkshire on June 19.
Megan lost her mother Sue to cancer in 2009. She used to train with her mum on Otley Chevin and is now a regular runner and fundraiser for cancer research charities.
Recent Pride of Britain award- winner Danielle, meanwhile, had to have her legs and hands amputated after contracting meningitis as a child.
But she has refused to let that stop her following her dreams, and is a gold-medal-winning swimmer hoping to compete in the 2016 Paralympics.
Meanwhile, Menston’s Lisa McLouglin was also due to carry the torch in Thirsk yesterday.