BRIDLINGTON schoolgirl Lily May Grainger enjoyed her once in a lifetime experience up on stage during Hull’s Olympic torch celebration.
As previously reported in the Free Press, Lily’s December 20 birthday meant that she became one of around 700 British children born on the special ‘20/12’ day back in 2004 when the Olympic bid was still in its early stages.
A promise was made by the Olympic committee that if the Games came to London, the children would play a part in it and Lily’s role was to take to the stage in Hull’s West Park when the Olympic flame arrived in the city after passing through Bridlington.
At the event on Monday night, Burlington Infant School pupil Lily got to rub shoulders with celebrities including Britain’s Got Talent Finalists Twist and Pulse.
She was on stage when Hull’s final torch bearer of the day Amy Hopkin arrived in West Park to light the huge cauldron signalling the flame’s overnight stay in the city.
She enjoyed watching performances by dancers, acrobats and indie band Little Comets and her mum Sarah said she was delighted that her daughter played a part in such a momentous occasion.
“Lily was really excited about it, she absolutely loved it and I was so proud of her stood up on that stage in front of all those people.
“I think up until it happened, Lily hadn’t quite grasped what an historic occasion it really was and just how lucky she was to be a part in it all.”
Lily even managed to bag herself an interview slot on television news and Sarah said that the 7-year-old could not wait to get back to their St Columba Road home to see herself on screen.
“She was delighted,” said Sarah, “Though I think she just thought that it was only her family who could watch her, I don’t think she realises that thousands of people will have seen her on television!
“She was given an Olympic goody bag with lots of treats in it and she said she couldn’t wait to go to school to show everyone and tell all her friends about her experience.”
The West Park extravaganza attracted an estimated 30,000 people and was broadcast nationally by both the BBC and ITV. Despite all this, Lily remained undaunted and took part in the event with real enthusiasm, supported by her parents, four-year-old brother Owen and grandparents.