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Paralympic flame honour for Chivenor Marine

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 22, 2012

Matt Raasch-Sotwina will carry the Paralympic flame in Newham, London

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A Royal Marine who was diagnosed with a brain tumour four years ago will carry the Paralympic flame through London as excitement over the "superhuman games" builds.

Staff Sergeant Matt Raasch-Sotwina, who serves with 24 Commando at RMB Chivenor in North Devon, will carry the flame through Newham on August 29.

The 41-year-old was nominated for the honour by Martin Colclough, the head of Battle Back Phoenix sport rehabilitation programme funded by Help for Heroes. The programme helps wounded, injured and sick servicemen try sport and adventure training to regain fitness and confidence.

Staff Sgt Raasch-Sotwina has raised more than £3,000 for the charity since he was offered the chance to try out water skiing after a series of operations left him partially paralysed, deaf in his left ear and suffering with balance and coordination problems.

He said the Battle Back programme made him feel that "nothing is impossible".

He made a bid to qualify for Team GB as a sprinter, but is now a microlight pilot. He said of the honour of carrying the torch: "I am shocked; I knew I had been nominated, which was great, but I never expected to be successful. I am over the moon. It's even more exciting after seeing the excitement around the Olympic torch – I know it will be an emotional and proud moment."

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