Search

Wembley Olympic torchbearer slams plans to charge runners £200 to keep their torch

08:00 31 March 2012

Keith Gussy-Young training will represent Brent in the London 2012 Olympic torch relay

Keith Gussy-Young training will represent Brent in the London 2012 Olympic torch relay

isabelle Plasschaert

Nominee who has volunteered in Brent for more than 25 years thinks council should foot the bill

An Olympic torchbearer from Wembley has slammed plans to charge runners £200 to keep their own torch.

Keith Gussy-Young was nominated to run the high-profile relay after dedicating 25 years to running sports clubs for young people in Brent.

But the 51-year-old, who is a qualified coach, is furious that he has been asked to pay £200 to keep the torch.

He said: “I don’t think I should pay for it. Not a lot of people are happy about it. Why should we have to find £200? I’ve given up the past 26 years to volunteering and spent a lot of my own money on people in the borough. I’m sure the other torchbearers feel the same.”

Mr Gussy-Young believes Brent Council should pick up the bill. He said: “We are representing Brent so I think Brent Council should pay for the torches. I don’t think it is fair to ask us. I have been helping kids in Brent for 25 years and this is how we are repaid. They are just trying to make money out of us.”

Mr Gussy-Young, who grew up in the borough, has worked with Brent Youth Service for 17 years, ran St Andrew’s Youth Club in Willesden and Gladstone Centre Youth Club in Cricklewood as well as Brent School Football Association.

He also works with community radio station Roots FM and coaches girls and boys football at Wembley Primary School, in East Lane, Wembley.

Mr Gussy-Young also scouts youths for trials with Queen’s Park Ranger Football Club.

But a Brent Council spokesman said: “The council will not be purchasing the commemorative torches as this is not the best use of funds at a time when we have to make big savings and also, we aren’t aware of how many residents are taking part so it is unclear how much this would cost.”

Nearly

If all 8,000 participants bought their torch, it would raise £1.6million. But the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has defended the costs saying the torch costs £495 to make.

The Olympic flame arrives in the UK on May 18 and begins its 70-day journey at Land’s End the following day.

The flame will be in Brent for two hours and will arrive mid-morning on July 25 via Harrow Road, in Sudbury.

Latest News Stories

Dawn Butler (red coat) outside her new campaign office

The Labour Parliamentary candidate for Brent Central has opened a campaign office for the run up to the General Election.

Yesterday, 12:00
Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher

Every week Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher, Brent Police borough commander, writes a column to inform Times readers about the latest policing activity happening in the borough. Today he talks about crime mapping technology.

Yesterday, 09:57
Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala will be sentenced on February 27

Stonebridge councillor Zaffar Van Kalwala has been found guilty of driving a motor vehicle dangerously and actual bodily harm (ABH) following an incident in Wembley.

Fri, 12:00
The new store will open inside the Civic Centre

After an absence of more than 20 years Sainsbury’s is set to return to Wembley at the end of February.

Most read news

People thought the Deputy Prime Minister was pretty funny actually.

Brothers: The David Haines Story, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 10.30am on Sunday.

Over £30,000 has been raised in a couple of days for a mugging victim, despite the goal only being set at £500.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Brent & Kilburn Times e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder