Sports enthusiast from Tadworth carries Olympic torch through Dorking
A sports enthusiast at the heart of a charity which has trained hundreds of 2012 Olympians carried the torch through Dorking on Friday.
Tim Lawler, who lives in Tadworth, is the Chief Executive of SportsAid, a charity which has supported thousands of aspiring young athletes - more than 500 of whom, past and present, will compete for Team GB at London 2012.
He has worked at the charity for the past eight years and was previously managing director of Premiership rugby side Saracens - but said carrying the flame was one of the most thrilling experiences of his life.
The 45-year-old, originally from Stockton-on-Tees, said: "I've worked in sport for 20 years but this is without doubt the most exciting thing I've been involved with by a country mile, it's just unique.
"We've only been living in Tadworth for five or six years but there's a host of mums and dads from the local school, friends, relatives, children who came to Dorking to watch."
Mr Lawler believes the London Games highlight the important role SportsAid plays in getting young athletes to Olympic standard.
He said: "I am delighted with the footprint that SportsAid has at the Games - this is our ninth Olympic cycle but the first home cycle.
"It's a very proud moment for the organisation and underlines our relevance for emerging young athletes who are reliant on the bank of mum and dad.
"The typical SportsAid athlete is extremely wide-eyed and incredibly focused and when I think of myself in my late teens or early 20s I was on a different planet.
"I think they are the best kept secret in sport and inspiring is the right word, to their peer group and the youngsters below them.
"The other type of SportsAid athlete is Rebecca Adlington and Sir Chris Hoy who are so synonymous with those special moments in sport it feels as though we know them a little bit but not so long ago they were the same as these guys, so committed to sport and look where it's taken them."
Mr Lawler also has high hopes for the nation’s future Paralympians, with 200 of the athletes taking part in the Games supported at some point by SportsAid.