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Inspirational female referee chosen to carry London 2012 Olympic Torch

Inspirational female referee chosen to carry London 2012 Olympic Torch

Rachel Forrest may be carrying the flag for female rugby referees but she cannot wait to switch it for the Olympic Torch after being selected for a starring role at London 2012.

Rachel Forrest may be carrying the flag for female rugby referees but she cannot wait to switch it for the Olympic Torch after being selected for a starring role at London 2012.

Forrest was chosen as one of 8,000 inspiration figures to carry the Olympic Flame courtesy of Lloyds TSB in the build-up to ‘the greatest show on earth’ this summer.

The 26-year-old is the first and only female referee in the Eastern Counties leagues, and volunteers to coach youngsters at West Norfolk rugby club and Fakenham rugby club.

And Forrest would love nothing better for those she coaches to be able to cheer her on while experiencing her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I was very surprised when I heard and it’s fantastic news,” said Rachel.

“I can’t wait to get out there with the torch in my hand – it’s going to be a really special moment.

“It’ll be brilliant to let all of the youngsters that I coach know and it’d be great if they could all come and watch me running with the Torch.

“I organise some coaching sessions at a couple of local clubs and I can only imagine what the kids’ response will be.”

Rachel is also determined to help inspire the next generation of budding female sportswomen and officials after her brush with fame in the Olympic Torch Relay. 

She added: “I hope it’ll be a chance to bring some attention to female refereeing and show people it can be done and there’s nothing stopping others from doing the same. 

“If I could help in any way in getting young girls into playing sport or even turning their hands to becoming officials, then it’s all good progress for the sport.

“London 2012 is so exciting, rugby is my number one sport, but I’m a big fan of the Olympics and to play a part in an event this big is going to really be something special.”

As the only National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB is bringing the excitement of the Games and Olympic Flame closer to you. Find out what we’re doing in your community and who is carrying the Flame at lloydstsb.com/carrytheflame