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Kay's Olympic torch dream an inspiration to others

Kay Geary with pic

28 May 2012

AN INSPIRATIONAL student whose community work has helped inspire young people will be leading the way as an Olympic torchbearer.

Just before her 16th birthday, Glyndŵr University student Kay Geary was told scoliosis, a condition involving a curvature of the spine, would eventually crush her lungs if left untreated.

She underwent major surgery, and five years on will carry the torch through Shotton tomorrow (Tuesday, May 29), as it makes its way towards London.

Kay, 21, of Upton, Wirral is in the final year of a youth and community studies degree and works as a drama sessional worker with 13- to 19-year-olds at Wirral Youth Theatre, Birkenhead.

She was nominated as a torchbearer by her friend, Bethan Lewis.

Kay said: “I’ve never been a really big sports fan but it’s amazing to think I’m going to be involved in the Olympics in my home country.

“Bethan mentioned the nomination to me in June last year but I didn’t think there was any way I was going to get chosen.

“It doesn’t make sense to think that someone like me would get chosen to carry the Olympic flame but it’ll be a very proud day for me nonetheless – and I can’t wait.

“I remember being told that I’d be off school for two or three months following the operation, but I was back within two weeks – there was no way on earth I was going to miss finishing my GCSEs.

“My disability always came first at school – people told me I’d never make anything of my life or achieve anything in my life but everyone at Wirral Youth Theatre have been really supportive, encouraging me to achieve whatever it is that I’ve wanted to achieve.

“No matter how hard I try I will never be able to explain just how grateful I am to them, they honestly changed my life.

“My parents have never wrapped me up in cotton wool – they’ve brought me up to do whatever I want – and when I have followed something that I want to do they’ve helped to make it happen.

Kay added: “My elder sister Emma has been my biggest role model, since forever. She is the type of person that has always been driven to achieve her goals and I want to do the same! I really hope I can make her, my brother James and the rest of my family and friends proud.”

Since joining the theatre, Kay has acted in several plays before moving into a support role to help other young people.

She is hoping to go on to study for a master’s degree in performance.

Kay said: “I’ve always had a keen interest in drama since I was five or six and the theatre has become my second home.

“I started there when I was 12 and they took me under their wing and built my confidence up. When I first joined I took part in one major performance every year. Every year I got more and more lines, until the last one I did in 2009.

“I became a peer educator when I was 15 as I wanted to help other young people in the same way that people at the theatre had helped me.”

  • Glyndŵr University will be providing breakfast for the public as well as staff and students as the torch begins its progress through Wrexham on Wednesday. The university will be serving up sausage baps and Danish pastries as well as hot drinks in the small car park area on the corner of the Glyndŵr University Racecourse Stadium’s Mold Road and Eric Roberts stands. Food and drinks will be available on a first-come, first-served basis
University open day