A profoundly deaf teenage football referee studying at a
Doncaster specialist educator is to swap the local pitch for the
world stage after being chosen as an Olympic torchbearer.
Mathew Slator, who is educated at the Doncaster Deaf Trust, has
been chosen from tens of thousands of nominees to be a torchbearer
in the countdown to the London Olympics this summer.
The 16-year-old from Scunthorpe last year became one of only
four deaf football referees in the country, and is also the
He was nominated for the Olympic honour as a result of his
voluntary work, his positive outlook and attitude and his
Alan Robinson, Executive Principal at Doncaster Deaf Trust said:
"Mathew has been studying with us since 2007 and during that time
has proven to be an inspiration to his peers and tutors alike.
"Mathew has a profound Bilateral Sensori-Neural hearing loss but
his disability hasn't stopped him living his dreams."
Last year Mathew won the Young Disabled Volunteer of the Year
Award at the North Lincolnshire Leisure and Culture Awards for all
coaching work on a voluntary basis with younger children at
He said: "I love sport, mainly football, so to be given the
honour of carrying the Olympic torch is just a dream come true and
will be the best birthday present ever!"
Mathew, who will turn 17 at the end of May, continued: "I don't
believe I have done anything special - I have just lived my life as
I've wanted to and nothing has held me back."
The Olympic Flame will be carried by 8,000 inspirational people
as it journeys across the UK. London 2012 organisers have described
the torchbearer's role as a "moment to shine, inspiring millions of
people watching in their community, in the UK and worldwide".
Details of where and when Mathew will take over the torch is set
to be announced over the next few months.