A sporting donation

Veteran wheelchair athlete and fundraiser Dave Burns  donates the Olympic Torch he received in 2012 to Blackpool Sports Centre, as a way to help encourage more young people in the town to take up sport.
Dave (left) is pictured presenting the torch to Cllr Graham Cain.
Veteran wheelchair athlete and fundraiser Dave Burns donates the Olympic Torch he received in 2012 to Blackpool Sports Centre, as a way to help encourage more young people in the town to take up sport. Dave (left) is pictured presenting the torch to Cllr Graham Cain.
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A charity stalwart has donated his Olympic torch to the town in the hope it will light the way for the sporting ambitions of a new generation.

Fund-raiser and veteran wheelchair athlete Dave Burns has handed over the torch he received ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

It will be placed just inside the entrance of Blackpool Sports Centre at Stanley Park.

Dave was nominated to be among the torchbearers when the Olympic torch relay came to Blackpool and was able to keep hold of his individual torch.

However, four years later, and in the run-up to the next Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio in Brazil which start next Friday, Dave has chosen to donate the torch
 to help inspire more youngsters to get active and take up sport.

He said: “I was deeply honoured to be nominated in 2012 and everybody has been so generous to donate to my charity causes over the years.

“I wanted to thank everyone in the town and it feels great to hand the torch back to Blackpool.”

As well as competing in sport, Dave has also been instrumental in the town for raising money for charity, and estimates the people of Blackpool have helped him donate around £750,000 to worthwhile causes over the years.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet secretary, added: “Dave has been a great ambassador for Blackpool – not only in sporting terms but also to raise thousands of pounds to do good work across the town.

“It’s a great honour that Dave has chosen to give the torch to the sports centre and we have made sure that it has pride of place as people come into the building.

“Hopefully, everybody coming into the centre will see the torch and use it as inspiration.”