A GLENAVY man who has dedicated his life to playing, promoting and fundraising for disability sports since being injured in a cycling accident 21 years ago is to take his place on the Paralympic Games Torch Relay.
Keen sportsman Ivor Jess, 50, set to work starting up a number of different disability sports events including the Belfast Wheelchair Tennis Tournament after being frustrated with a lack of variety in sports on offer.
He was awarded an MBE for his selfless work in 2011 before being selected to carry the Paralympic Flame.
Ivor said: “I am a shy enough person, and I try to keep out of the limelight but when someone shows a bit of appreciation for what you do then it is quite nice to know that someone has noticed. ”
“It is a big thrill and how many people are going to get the chance to carry the flame – it is just fantastic.
“I consider it a fantastic honour to be carrying the Olympic flame and I am absolutely chuffed to bits.
“What a wonderful thing to be chosen for, because I am a passionate sportsman through and through.
“The Paralympics would have been my ultimate thing to be a part of and unfortunately I am a bit old for it but this is the next best thing.
“I am so happy because I never look for recognition – I just get my head down and work away
“When I received the MBE in 2011 I thought I couldn’t top it but the next thing I know I get this pleasant surprise – it has been brilliant.”
“Being disabled can be very restrictive and it is great to see people have a bit of fun and show them that there is a life out there for everybody.”
As the National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB is bringing the excitement of the Games and Paralympic Flame closer to you. Find out who is carrying the Flame at lloydstsb.com/paralympicflame