OH Olympic Torch Bearer Michael Powell (OH 2006-2008) & Sophie Collett (OH 1996-2002)
Michael Powell & Sophie Collett will be running the Bartestree/ Lugwardine section on 24th May 2012, Michael and Sophie will then be presented with a replica torch after the event.

Michael was nominated to be a torch bearer by his father Gordon Powell, an accountant for the Diocese of Hereford. Mr Powell nominated Michael for his professional and social commitment to a wide range of sports.

Michael first started playing sport competitively at the age of eight for the junior league football team Hereford Junior Dynamos. During his seven years at the club Michael got the opportunity to play at the Hereford United Edgar Street ground and lifted the Junior Championship trophy in 2005.

In addition to his junior football, Michael has toured New Zealand with the Bishops School Rugby Team, competed at county level for Herefordshire Junior Hockey Team and taken part in several county closed Tennis tournaments.

He is now a level three qualified tennis coach working primarily at the Whitecross Club in Hereford. Michael says, “It is an incredible honour to be carrying the Olympic torch in my home county of Herefordshire. From the moment I could walk I have been playing sport and I have not stopped since. “Playing sport competitively – and now, coaching others and helping them realise their sporting potential – is both personally enjoyable and professionally rewarding.

“That is why I am so thrilled to be given the opportunity to play a major part in the greatest sporting event on the planet.”

Sophie's nomination story

"My niece Sophie suffered from osteomyelitis when she was a child. She endured months of pain, but was cured. She is now 27, and, with no personal trainer, has pushed herself to the limits, to run in 6 ultra-marathons across the world, and has raised thousands of pounds for charity. She works as a physiotherapist in Bristol, and all her patients adore her. She specialises in intensive care.

She first completed the Marathon des Sables in 2008. Despite being only 5ft3', she completed the race, (and beating a lot of the men!) gaining a very good position amongst the women. Since then she has completed the Brazil Jungle Marathon, the Gobi March, the Yukon Arctic Ultra 300, the Oner, the Thames Meander and the Jurassic Coastal Challenge, and finally in March 2011, The Atacama Crossing in Chile. Despite having to be hospitalised on her return because of severely infected feet, she was determined to finish this race in order to achieve her goal of £8,000 for Help the Heroes. This she did - and was 4th out of all the women. She was a hero, and an amazing girl. She also raised £12,000 for the charity 'Facing Africa' in 2008.

She has guts and determination and has helped people both by her amazing fundraising, but also with the work she does on a daily basis. I know an opportunity to carry the Olympic Torch would be her proudest moment, and she deserves it. She is a great example to young people, and is definitely an unsung hero. I do hope you will consider her."
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