A STRONG sense of pride and excitement filled David Marsh’s thoughts, as he carried the Paralympic torch in London.
The 44-year-old from Worthing took on the challenge alongside representatives from around the country to spark the final leg of the capital’s hugely successful 2012 Olympics.
Having narrowly avoided serious injury from a major motorbike accident and supporting his wife Susan (who is continuing a national campaign to prevent further cutbacks to disability services), he revealed it has been greatly rewarding to be a disability liaison officer for his firm, EDF.
After being put forward by colleagues at the company’s base in Worthing, he revealed there’s been a huge sense of anticipation surrounding the build-up to the Paralympics.
Speaking before his journey to London on Tuesday (August 28), he said: “I’m very excited to be a torch bearer, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of it and will have my wife, children Giacomo and Tom supporting me there,” said David, of Lansdowne Road, of his starring role yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) on the Paralympic route at Southwark.
He added: “I have actually been even more excited about the Paralympic than the Olympics, with the campaign that my wife has been involved in and also being the disability and carers network officers at work. For the route, I’ll be part of a group of five people, which is the way they are doing it for the Paralympics rather than individuals.
“I think it will be an excellent Games – here in the UK the way that we look after people who are disabled is better than some other countries. We have seen some big changes since the 1970s on this and I think the Games will give great encouragement to those who are disabled to get involved with sports,” said David, who has survived open heart surgery and also suffered a neck injury while attempting some domestic lifting which causes neck damage which has left him requiring ongoing treatment.
In his capacity as disability officer, he recently organised a talk from Paralympic star Tammy Grey Thompson, whom he praised as “amazing woman” who has been an inspiration to many disabled people and he hoped 2012’s event would continue to inspire others.