THE co-ordinator of the 800-strong team of volunteers for the 2011 Isle of Man Commonwealth Youth Games is to be a torchbearer when the Isle of Man welcomes the Olympic flame on Saturday, June 2.
Victoria Karran, in 2011 voted Volunteer of the Year in the Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence and Sports Administrator of the Year by the Isle of Man Sports Council, is company secretary to the Clerical Medical Group in the Isle of Man, which operates under the Scottish Widows brand, part of the Lloyds Banking group and one of four Olympic torch relay presenting partners.
She was chosen after winning one of the group’s annual Making a Difference awards which celebrate colleagues who have contributed to the community through fundraising, volunteering and other activities.
In 2011 the Making a Difference awards partnered with the London 2012 Olympic torch relay campaign, with Victoria selected to be one of the 8,000 ‘inspirational people’ who will be carrying the torch between May 19 and July 27 as it journeys across the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey, during which time it is expected to come within 10 miles of 95 per cent of people in each nation.
Victoria received a gold award from former Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards at a celebratory lunch in London and, in addition to the honour of carrying the torch, she received a donation to her chosen charity. She chose Project 21, a local charity which set up to build and maintain a new activities centre for people with learning difficulties.
Project 21 is used by various charities which, as a result, have been able to extend the range of activities they can offer their members, from drama and music to various sports.
Scottish Widows’ director Juan Clarke said: ‘The company has a long history of supporting colleagues in their community and sporting endeavours and, as part of the Lloyds Banking Group, is official pensions and investment provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
‘Victoria’s honour is well deserved. Her efforts last year in recruiting and co-ordinating the volunteers for the Commonwealth Youth Games with the help of a small committee were truly outstanding. At work she is the consummate professional, while away from the office she devotes much of her free time to the local community and also volunteers to help others less fortunate further afield. The herculean task she accomplished so successfully last year did much to promote the Isle of Man to a global audience. I am confident that as one of the Olympic torchbearers she will build on that success and will, once again, serve as a source of inspiration.’
The Olympic torch will arrive in the Isle of Man from Liverpool on Saturday June 2, the first day of the 2012 TT festival, and be carried, among other modes of transport, in a TT sidecar and transported on an electric and a horse-pulled tram. It will then go on to Portrush in Northern Ireland. The torch’s arrival at the opening ceremony on July 27 will signify the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.