Olympics honour for inspirational women

TWO inspirational young women from Daventry are among a select band of people chosen to carry the Olympic flame.

Rachel Nafzger and Kristin Hallenga were picked to be part of the 6,800 people invited to take part in the torch relay in the run-up to the London Olympics.

Rachel, 21, from the Timken estate in Daventry, was nominated through Coca-Cola’s campaign for her voluntary work both at home and at university in Plymouth.

She said: “I was so excited to learn that I have been offered the chance to carry the Olympic flame next year.

“It is such a special honour and given the number of people who were nominated I feel very lucky indeed.

“I hope that my story encourages others to find ways to get involved with their local community and that people will come out and support me along the way.”

Rachel was born four months premature with limited sight. She is now registered blind and has a guide dog. She applied to a university far from home to force herself to become more independent.

Rachel was a keen volunteer when she lived at home and at Plymouth University she became a member of the Volunteer Society, taking on a project leader role for a conservation project that focuses on the maintenance of Devon and Cornwall’s rural rail stations.

Her story has proven to be so inspirational that she even appeared on national TV on BBC Breakfast.

Kristin, 26, grew up in Daventry. After a series of misdiagnoses, at the age of just 23 she was diagnosed with the most advanced form of breast cancer which had already spread to her spine. But while undergoing treatment, Kristin, along with her twin sister Maren, decided to found CoppaFeel to raise awareness of breast cancer among young women and men.

Kristin said: “I now have to persuade the organisers to let me dress in my giant boob costume. I’m sure they’ll be up for it.

“There is a real variety of people taking part, I think they were looking for people who do something a bit different and that’s perhaps why they chose me.”

The torch relay will head through the Daventry district, but will not come to Daventry itself, stopping instead at Althorp House.