London 2012: The Olympic torch trip of a lifetime
Dennis Coles, a 6th Year pupil at Doon Academy in Dalmellington, was lucky enough to be selected, along with four other pupils from across the UK, to attend the Olympic torch handover ceremony in Athens on 17 May to represent British young people.
Doon Academy's headteacher explained why Dennis was chosen to travel to Greece.
"We have partner schools in Belgium, Spain, Poland, Portugal and, most importantly, Greece. We were asked to nominate a pupil who was a good athlete and who would be an ambassador for the school and the Olympics.
"Dennis Coles was chosen because he typifies the values of Doon Academy and the Olympics. He is an excellent communicator who has performed comfortably at school events such as our Young Musician of the Year competition."
End Quote Dennis Coles, Doon Academy student
I couldn't believe that David Beckham actually wanted to meet me!”
On his return we interviewed Dennis about his amazing trip and this is what he told us.
"On Wednesday 16th, Mr McCrorie, my PE teacher and escort, and I went to Heathrow Airport to board Firefly, the special plane which was taking all the celebrities to Athens," he said.
"Once we had boarded the plane, the VIPs like Princess Anne, Lord Coe, Boris Johnson and loads of other people got on!
"I couldn't believe where I was, I was actually sitting on a plane in the company of all these people that I had only ever seen on the TV.
"When we arrived in Athens we were met by the British Embassy staff. After settling in to our five-star hotel we went down to the stadium for our very first rehearsal.
"On Thursday morning we visited a local school and then had another rehearsal of the handover ceremony. At the stadium we were all interviewed by the BBC and we joined Princess Anne and the other VIPs to go over our roles.
"Back at the hotel we were invited up to meet David Beckham in his hotel suite. I couldn't believe that David Beckham actually wanted to meet me!
"That evening we went to the stadium and took our seats in the pouring rain. There were about 20,000 people in the stadium so I was a bit nervous. We were then signalled to take our positions.
"The five of us were to go on and take an olive branch from five Greek pupils. This represented peace and friendship between our two countries.
"Once we had done our part in the ceremony, we escorted her Royal Highness and the other VIPs out of the stadium and then we made our way to the British Embassy where we were invited to a private cocktail party where I was mistaken for David Beckham!
"On Friday we visited another school where we were going to take part in a football game with David Beckham, but as the weather was so bad it was cancelled, so the kids got to ask him questions in a classroom.
"Then in the afternoon we went to the airport and boarded Firefly to bring the Olympic flame in miners' lanterns over to Britain. On board the flight was HRH, Boris Johnson, Lord Coe, David Beckham and loads of VIPs and media.
"As the plane landed in Cornwall we were live on The One Show! The crowd was huge and as I walked off the plane I couldn't stop my legs from shaking as it was quite scary seeing so many people waiting on your arrival and knowing that you are live on TV. No pressure...!
"Once all that was done and David Beckham had lit the torch we boarded the Firefly for one last time as we flew back to Heathrow Airport where we were to stay the night at the Holiday Inn and make our way back home the next morning.
"The trip was a huge success and I was very proud to play my part and represent my school and my country in Athens."