Surprise for student who will carry our flag

By Alexandra Ventura

Tayla Young, 13, of Rangitoto College reacts with shock as she is named the New Zealand Flag Envoy to the London Olympics. Picture / Chris Gorman.
Tayla Young, 13, of Rangitoto College reacts with shock as she is named the New Zealand Flag Envoy to the London Olympics. Picture / Chris Gorman.

A 13-year-old has won the chance to present the New Zealand flag to the Olympic team in London next month.

Rangitoto College student Tayla Young was sitting in a special assembly yesterday morning, watching sportsman Hamish Carter answer questions and talking about his Olympic experience, when the real reason for the assembly was revealed.

ANZ bank's head of retail, Kerri Thompson, stepped up to the podium and told the gathering of Year 9 students about the competition ANZ ran to find a young Kiwi to take the flag to London.

Tayla felt excited then, knowing her mother had entered her, but when her name was called as the winner, she said she felt shocked.

"I couldn't believe it. My friends had to tell me to stand up."

She was then asked to the stage, alongside her mother, to receive her NZ Flag Envoy jumper, amid cheering and applause from her classmates.

When Carter, who is ANZ's Olympic Ambassador, asked her how she felt she said: "I'm speechless."

The competition drew more than 16,000 entries and was open to all ANZ customers.

Tayla will travel to Wellington tomorrow to pick up the flag.

She will fly to London with her mum and grandparents to present the flag to the Governor-General and the New Zealand Olympic team, on July 26.

The teenager had been attending Rangitoto College for less than two weeks and said she was "overwhelmed" by the win, having never been to London before.

Carter said it was great to see the Olympics connecting the country.

"New Zealanders get really close to it, they follow the team. And if you get to see them it's so much more real."

- NZ Herald

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