Commonwealth Games: Former Farnham Common resident 'honoured' to participate in ceremonies

The daughter of the founder of Meet & Mingle has expressed her pride and honour after taking part in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

Earlier this year, Asa Marshal learnt that she was successful in her application and had been selected to take part in both the opening and closing ceremonies of the games.

The former Farnham Common resident later discovered that she would be one of the placard bearers representing each of the nations.

At the opening ceremony on Thursday, July 28 - bearing the Scotland placard, Asa led the team into the packed Alexander Stadium, where members of the Royal Family were also present.

Asa said: “It was such an amazing night.

“I just feel so honoured and so blessed to be part of it all and the role that they gave me at well, it’s amazing.”

Expressing how proud she feels to participate, Asa explained that it is a bittersweet moment as although her family and friends are there to watch and cheer her on, her ‘biggest cheerleader’, her mum Aksa Marshal is missing from the celebrations.

Aksa, who founded Meet & Mingle - a group for women in and around Slough, passed away in 2019 following a battle with cancer.

Asa said: “My mum always used to say grab every opportunity by the horns and just go for it, you can reach the stars.

“I really missed my mum on the day. She would have booked out all the front tickets.

“She was always my biggest cheerleader and I really really miss her.

"I'm praying that she's looking down [and] watching."

Asa is no stranger to the big stage and has previously taken part in a group dance performance at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics.

The 33-year-old was born with cerebral palsy - a condition which affects the limbs, and she uses a wheelchair to get around and has no use of her right hand at all.

She added: “I want everyone to see [that] even if you have a disability, the sky’s the limit, it doesn’t matter.

“I feel so blessed and honoured to be the only wheelchair user was a placard bearer as well.

“That in itself is a huge achievement for me.”

Asa will be the flag bearer for Scotland at the upcoming closing ceremony on Monday, August 8.

She hailed this opportunity as a ‘very good start’ to getting back on her feet and back to where she was after ‘a really tough few years’.

Asa explained that she previously kept herself busy through a range of activities including doing modelling work, beauty pageants, and running her charity A.S.A – Achieving Strong Aims, carrying the slogan 'disability that knows no limits', which she explained has slowed in recent years, but is hoping to re-ignite it again at some point.  

“I’m just trying to get back on my feet. I miss what I used to do and [I’m] just trying to get back to where I was.”

Asa added that she ‘loves getting involved in everything’ and is always looking for new opportunities.

For more information about Asa's charity A.S.A, visit: 


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