'Wonderful' and 'determined' Paralympic Torchbearer diesBy Becky Barnes
December 07, 2012
A sportswoman who was determined to see this year's Paralympic games has passed away.
The life of keen swimmer Irene Cripps, 83, from Bullbrook, will be celebrated on Monday following her death on Monday, November 26.
Wokingham and Bracknell Red Diamond Sports Club member Irene carried the Paralympic Torch in a relay from Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury between August 28 and 29.
Chairman and president of the club, which gives independence to disabled people across the borough, Cllr Isabel Mattick said: "She was a wonderful person with a great personality - she had determination despite her MS.
"She achieved a lot of things she wanted to do and was a good person to have on your side."
When the Standard interviewed Irene in July about her Paralympic involvement she said she tried to live her life as usual despite being diagnosed with MS in 1985.
She said the Red Diamond Sports Club gave her a ‘new lease of life’ and told of her disabled games success where she won medals.
Cllr Mattick added her close friend was 'over the moon' when she heard about the possibility of being torchbearer and Irene was determined to see the Paralympics this year as she said she 'thoroughly enjoyed' the Olympics in 1948.
The Bracknell town councillor added: "She played the disabled games in Guildford two weeks before she died.
"Despite suffering from MS she did a lot of things and she loved her swimming."
Some members of the club will be following a tradition and will plant a flower in their garden to remember Irene.
There are plans to place her Paralympic torch on top of her coffin at her funeral on Monday.
Irene's funeral takes place at Easthampstead Park Crematorium on Monday (December 10) at 1.30pm.
Flowers to AB Walker and son, Ellen Lodge, Binfield Roade, Bracknell or donations for Cats Protection can be made at www.memorygiving.com/irenecripps.