Olympic torch in safe hands

Paul Hagreen, 18, from Elland in West Yorkshire, hasd been offered the chance to carry the Olympic Torch as it passes through the county next June.
Paul Hagreen, 18, from Elland in West Yorkshire, hasd been offered the chance to carry the Olympic Torch as it passes through the county next June.

A YOUNG Brighouse athlete whose determination not to let his Type 1 diabetes stop him playing football has been chosen as one of the torch bearers to carry the Olympic Torch next year.

Paul Hagreen, who is a goalkeeper for Brighouse Town, was one of the lucky nominees across the country to learn they have been chosen to carry the flame.

The 18-year-old, who lives in Elland, has managed his condition since the age of four and has now had in excess of 62,000 blood tests and 21,000 injections and has to be attached to an insulin pump around the clock.

The Huddersfield New College student who is studying for a BTEC sports diploma said: “I am delighted to be offered the chance to be a Torchbearer for the 2012 Torch Relay. It’s an honour to be involved in this once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of the historic event passing the Flame on and representing the community.”

As well as winning a football tournament for Great Britain made up of a team with children who have diabetes, he coaches youngsters every week. He also raises the profile of the condition so others will not be afraid and recently gave a talk to 700 people about the impact of diabetes on his life.

Paul’s mum Karen, who nominated him, said: “I have never heard him complain once. He loves sport and despite being very difficult balancing the sport he does with the insulin he needs and the food he needs to eat according to his blood sugar reading, he is so determined that it will not hold him back.

“When Paul was diagnosed we never would have thought he would accomplish so much. He is very quiet about all his accomplishments, but as his parents we feel very proud of him. He is an inspiration to everyone.”

The torch will pass through Brighouse on Sunday June 24 as it tours the country visiting communities.