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Inspirational torchbearer - Ella Smallwood

A schoolgirl who lost her mother to cancer last year will be one of the youngest torchbearers carrying the Olympic flame through Mansfield District on 28 June.

Ella Smallwood (12) is one of the youngest torchbearers in the country. There are 212 children who will be 12 years old on the day they carry the torch.

She was nominated by her school Arnold Hill Academy due her sporting achievements and the way she has coped since the death of her mother less than a year ago.

Ella plays football for Arnold Town Ladies Under 12s and has scored more than 50 goals this seasons. She is also a keen athlete.

Her mother Nicola Smallwood died aged 43 in August 2011. Ella and her younger brother Luca (5) now live with her aunt Julie Smallwood and uncle Jason and three cousins Molly (4) Amy Gilmore (14) and Thomas Gilmore (11) in Woodthorpe, Nottingham.

Ella said: "I thought it was a joke for a prank television show when I heard but I am really looking forward to having the chance to carry the torch. We watched some of the torch relay on television in school and now I'm a bit nervous!"

Ella's aunt Julie said: "I was gobsmacked when I heard she been chosen and I didn't believe it at first. I asked whether it was the actual Olympic torch she would be carrying.

"Ella's mum always said she wanted her to compete in the Olympics some day because she's so sporty and now she's carrying the torch. Her mum would be so proud and we are all very proud of her."

A map of the streets the Olympic Flame will be carried along within the Mansfield District on 28 June is available on

Published 01 June 2012

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