Great Ormond Street and Evelina children’s hospitals cricket coach chosen to carry Paralympic flame

A cricket coach from Stoke Newington who delivers cricket sessions to disabled, desperately and terminally ill children at Great Ormond Street and Evelina children’s hospitals was chosen as one of the Paralympic torch bearers last week.

Denise O’Neil, 42, who lives on the Woodberry Down estate represented cricket charities Chance to Shine and Capital Kids Cricket as the flame passed through Lambeth.

Denise works with children in wheelchairs inspiring them to take part in sport with their peers, and encourages children on the same wards to work together during sessions.

She has achieved remarkable results encouraging children with terminal illnesses to socialise with their peers.

“I’m very passionate about my work, I feel these children and adults missed out on a lot, its nice to see they are now being treated the same as everyone else, and I think the Paralympics is so inspirational to these guys.

“Over the years I’ve worked with some really sad cases but also some really wonderful ones, these kids are an inspiration.”

Denise said carrying the torch was amazing and “the best thing I’ve ever ever done”