Omar carries Olympic Torch

Torch bearer, Omar Haddad (24) pictured in Burnley with his Olympic Torch. G140612/1a
Torch bearer, Omar Haddad (24) pictured in Burnley with his Olympic Torch. G140612/1a

A SPECIAL Olympian has made his Burnley sponsors proud after being chosen to light the streets as a torchbearer.

Gymnast Omar Haddad (24), who has Down’s Syndrome, was given the honour of carrying the Olympic Torch in Haverfordwest, Wales, after being nominated through Coca-Cola’s Future Flames campaign.

Torch bearer, Omar Haddad (24) pictured at The Mix in Burnley with his Olympic Torch. Pictured with him, from the left, Liz and Jibreel Haddad, David Knoot and Kath Prentice (the mix), John and Lindsey Leng (BAAS) and Carol Smith (BAAS. G140612/1b

Torch bearer, Omar Haddad (24) pictured at The Mix in Burnley with his Olympic Torch. Pictured with him, from the left, Liz and Jibreel Haddad, David Knoot and Kath Prentice (the mix), John and Lindsey Leng (BAAS) and Carol Smith (BAAS. G140612/1b

On June 14th, he paid a special visit to The Mix, on St James’s Row, Burnley, to pay Baas Construction Ltd a visit, and took his Olympic torch.

The construction company started sponsoring Omar last year, after managing director Lindsey Leng was left moved by a Special Olympics feature on television.

After hearing Omar was having difficulty raising funds to get him to the Special Olympics World Summer Games, she got in contact with his mum, Liz Haddad, and offered to lend a helping hand.

Mrs Leng said: “We saw Omar and his mum on television.

“He had done a sponsored head shave to raise money himself to go to the Special Olympics World Summer Games. We rang up and said we would help to sponsor him.

“We are very proud of him.”

Omar, who trains in Colne, has won many awards for his impressive gymnastic skills.

At the Special Olympic World Summer Games, he scooped two bronze and five gold medals, and he is now looking forward to participating in the Special Olympics National Summer Games in Bath.

Mum-of-six Mrs Haddad, from Widnes, said: “He is fantastic.

“There was a superb atmosphere when Omar was carrying the torch. We all went to support him.”

As well as sponsoring Omar, Mrs Leng is also the brainwave behind a club night for those with learning difficulties.

Hosted by The Mix owners Kath Prentice and Dave Knott, the night intends to help those aged 18 and above meet new friends, and form relationships.

The next event will take place on August 12th, from 6pm to 10pm, and admission is free.

For further information on the night, contact Lindsey Leng on 07843 908008.