Torches light up Midlothian

PATHHEAD: Olympic torchbearer Alison Binns
PATHHEAD: Olympic torchbearer Alison Binns

A PATHHEAD doctor’s pulse is quickening as she prepares for her moment of Olympic glory.

The Olympic flame travels through Midlothian today (Thursday) and Alison Binns can’t wait to carry it.

From Musselburgh, the golden torch is expected to reach Dalkeith just before 9am and light up a route through Lasswade, Loanhead, Bilston, Milton Bridge and Penicuik for almost two hours.

Alison (45) has taken part in fun runs to raise money for renovation of Pathhead village hall, while raising a young family and working as a GP.

She is set to run with the Olympic flame through Peebles and said that combining her passion for running with the world event is a dream come true: “The weeks have gone by so fast and it felt like it would never happen but now it is everywhere and it is an incredible feeling knowing I am going to be a part of it.

“I was quite cool about that whole thing until I was actually told I was definitely picked and then there was much screaming.

“It is such an incredible thing and such an honour for someone who loves running as much as I do.

“Seeing it on the BBC and on the internet it makes me quite nervous, but I’m focusing on how fantastic the moment will be with all my family coming to watch and enjoy it with me.”

Alison is a member of the village hall committee and has helped raise money and organise events to spark a renewed interest in Pathhead life.

She believes that making the village more tight-knit has improved the lives of many people in her neighbourhood.

Alison said: “People have busy lives and not everyone needs to involve themselves, but there are some people who can’t go out on their own and need to know each other.

“When people get to know each other it breaks down barriers and is a good thing so I really believe in it.

“There has been a definite reduction in anti-social behaviour.

“Being a GP is a pretty demanding job and there are lots of great things about it, but it doesn’t leave you a lot of time to think about other things.

“I think it is important to have these events to get people together and chatting to see another side to village life.”

Penicuik sports coach Lynne Sturgeon has been selected to carry the Paralympic torch later this summer.

The 40-year-old has helped run the Allstars Sports Club at Beeslack Community High School for the last eight years, providing sporting activities and training for children with disabilities.

Her work at Allstars and as a swimming coach at Loanhead Dolphins has also fed into the Special Olympics and Paralympics, with former trainee James Clegg set to compete in London.

Lynne will carry the Paralympic torch on August 26 at the Flame Festival held in Edinburgh’s Inverleith Park.