Norfolk’s ju-jitsu lollipop grandmother to carry Olympic flame

A Norfolk lollipop lady who is the first woman to reach 7th dan black belt in a particular form of ju-jitsu, is now readying herself to carry the Olympic torch.

Grandmother Ena Mallet, 78, from Ranworth, was nominated by eleven different people to be the one to carry the torch through the county.

For 27 years she has been helping the children of Fairhaven Primary School in South Walsham cross safely. But on top of this, she teaches ju-jitsu to local people from ages 6 to 55 and keep fit classes for local women, while gardening with passion at home and at the school.

And unsurprisingly, the alive and very much kicking black belt granny, who stands at 5ft 4in, is not fazed by the prospect of carrying the Olympic flame.

'I'm not worried, I keep myself fit, I'll be able to do it. I'm just honoured that people would nominate me and think me capable,' she said.

The mother of two built her Common Road, Ranworth bungalow with her husband 40 years ago, and still lives there now.

She is very popular in the area, spoken of as modest and caring, and many of her ju-jitsu students are kids at the school.

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She said: 'I just want to do it for local people and the people of Norfolk.

'Kids have been coming up to me and saying, 'we saw ourselves on the TV behind you', they love it.

'I can't imagine what it will be like, I've got the spirit part of it down now I've just got to deal with the running!'

Mrs Mallet, who received phone calls from people from all over the world when she became the only woman to reach 7th dan black belt in Spirit Combat International ju-jitsu in July 2010, would like to carry the torch through Acle, and is sure to have a big following.

People have been stopping their cars at the school, not just obeying her orders, but also to show their appreciation.

'Cars have been stopping by the school, calling me 'mega star', and famous lady,' she said.

'Having the 7th dan black belt definitley played a part, I fell that I am representing the sport as well as the school.'

The torch relay will start May 19, 2012, with Mrs Mallet carrying it June 12, along with 110 people that day. It will reach the Olympic Stadium in Stratford for the opening ceremony July 27.

More than 8,000 people will have carried the torch by that time.

*Have you been nominated to carry the Olympic torch? Call reporter Joe Wilkes on 01603 772 439 or email joe.wilkes@archant.co.uk.

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