WHEN Suzanne Dawn received an email saying she could be carrying the Olympic flame she thought it was a joke.
But organisers were serious and now the overjoyed 26-year-old is preparing to carry the metre-high torch through Sunderland on June 16.
The school cover supervisor, from Red House, was nominated by her friend Claire Whitfield in recognition of her work with children.
Suzanne says she had a tough upbringing which meant she often felt she was denied opportunities that other children enjoyed. Now she is determined that every child gets a fair chance in life.
She said: “I’m passionate about kids achieving what they should be able to achieve.
“I never let anything hold me back and I think that’s made me more determined and independent. I loved sport at school and in particular one PE teacher who really believed in me. I found her inspirational.”
Now Suzanne gets the chance to create these opportunities for children every day, working at a college in the Additional Educational Needs department.
“When I work with kids I want them to do the very best they can, whatever that may be,” said Suzanne. “I absolutely love my job.”
The torches hit the headlines when it emerged some of the carriers were putting theirs up for sale on the auction site eBay, generating bids of many thousands of pounds.
Suzanne, who works at Churchill Community College in North Tyneside, said: “My initial reaction is there’s no way I’ll sell it.
“My friends and family have been so excited about me doing this and I want them all to see it.
“It’s motivation for the kids too, I’ve seen how excited they’ve been about the torch and I want them to see it to show them that they really can achieve anything. I doubt I’ll sell it.”