- Dartfordians coach and referee ran with torch in Erith
- “Carrying torch was out of this world”
Photo: RFU Archive
Rugby-loving mum Sandra Soler-Gomez from south east London “smiled all day” when she was one of the thousands of torch bearers during the relay around the UK that was set to conclude this evening (Friday July 27) at the Olympic Stadium.
Sandra, 42, carried the torch last Sunday (July 22) along Manor Road in Erith, near the River Thames, and afterwards was joined by friends and family at Dartfordians Rugby Club to celebrate her part in the relay that brought an estimated three million spectators onto the streets of London alone.
“Words cannot express the feeling that I had but I can say my jaw was aching from all the smiling,” said Sandra, who played rugby for Blackheath, Saracens and Emerging England, and is now a volunteer coach at Dartfordians and referee for the London Society.
“The weather was on my side along with so many of my friends and family. I passed so many faces I knew which began the smile that never left my face all day.
“Carrying the torch was out of this world and I cannot say thanks enough to all the people who helped make it happen, by nominating and supporting me.”
Sandra, a full-time employed mother of two, devotes over 200 hours of her time annually to coaching children's rugby and her fund-raising endeavours recently included being an assistant referee at the England Legends v Bosh Legends match at Lymm RFC, supporting injured player Alex Bennett’s Spinal Injuries Charities and the RFU Injured Players Foundation.
Together with four friends, Sandra will be hosting a sixth ‘Friends' Ball’ in January 2013 that has rugby charity Wooden Spoon among its beneficiaries and over the past 11 years has raised more than £28,000.