By Angela Oakley, Volunteer, Scottish Fair Trade Forum
What I like about the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay is that it links communities throughout the land with the Olympic Games in London, which in turn link with communities throughout the world.
How fitting, then, that my nomination gave details of my support for Fair Trade, which links consumers here with farmers and workers across the globe. Torchbearers were selected for their work in the community. For me, that means the global community.
On 8 June 2012, the day I carried the torch, the community was alive. I was taken aback at the size and nature of the crowds. Folk were out in cup final numbers. In the village where I carried the torch, I have been told the atmosphere was buzzing two hours before the torch was due to arrive. Something big was happening in Barrmill, North Ayrshire and people were interested. The small village was punching above its weight, entertaining with a Chinese dragon and offering international cuisine and flame burgers.
I carried the torch as high as I could. I wasn’t worried at being told millions were watching around the world online, but determined to do a grand job. I waved to the primary school children and high-fived those reaching out from the crowd. I spotted family members and supporters among the crowd. I had agreed an embrace with Thomas, the next torch bearer. As I flung my arms around him, I unwittingly clouted the escorting policeman with the torch.
It was a short and fast run, lasting only a few minutes, but the memories, well, those are for a lifetime. There is a time capsule, to be opened in Barrmill in 20 years time, which will show that my campaign for Fairtrade cotton schoolwear was pioneering in 2012, but perhaps in 2032 those investigating the capsule will all be wearing fairly traded cotton. The spirit of fair play at the Olympics that year will hopefully once again be relayed by a torch representing peace, unity and friendship.