THURROCK Council Leader Cllr John Kent celebrated the news that the Olympic Torch Relay is coming to Thurrock.
He said that details of the relay in the borough would be released later, but that “it is a huge honour for Thurrock”. He added: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for local people to play a small part in a world-wide event here in Grays.”
Grays is one of over 1,000 villages, towns and cities announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) through which the Olympic Flame will be carried by Torchbearers during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay which is presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung. LOCOG has worked closely with representatives from a number of sectors in Thurrock to devise the route.
Cllr Kent said: “The last Olympics in Britain were in 1948 and we don’t know if we’ll see them here again. Whether you have tickets or not, everyone should come along; cheer the spectacle and share in the excitement.
“The Olympic Torch Relay provides a tremendous opportunity for all our communities to share in the Olympic spirit — I am inviting all residents of our borough and neighbouring ones too to be part of this.
“The Olympics kick starts a decade of delivery, inspiring and motivating local people to take advantage of the jobs and opportunities coming from the regeneration programme underway across the borough.”
Cllr Lynn Worrall, portfolio holder for Sport and Culture in Thurrock, added: “The Olympics are a massive cultural event for our nation, a chance to show ourselves off to the world. The fact that the Olympic Torch Relay is coming to our borough is something we should all celebrate.
“It will give us a chance to welcome the flame and support the members of the community who have been chosen to run with the Olympic Flame.”
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: “We are thrilled to confirm that [locations] will act as host locations for the Olympic Flame, extending an invitation to people in [Local Authority area] to welcome the Olympic Torch Relay during its journey around the UK. This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across Thurrock to start planning how they can be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity and show their support for the inspirational Torchbearers chosen to carry the Olympic Flame as we count down to the start of the Olympic Games.”
The 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012. On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to a place near them.
In announcing the villages, towns and cities LOCOG has realised the aspiration of taking the Olympic Flame to within an hour’s journey time of 95 per cent of the population. In fact, over 95% of the population will be within just 10 miles of the Olympic Flame next summer. The street by street detail of the route will be confirmed next year.
People are invited to view the interactive map at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelaymap to find their nearest community through which the Olympic Flame will be carried.
On the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay, it is LOCOG’s intention that the Olympic Flame will travel down the River Thames as it makes its way to the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers each of whom will have a story of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community. In December this year, successful nominees will be contacted with a conditional offer and final Torchbearer places will start to be confirmed from February 2012 onwards.
Today LOCOG launches two new public participation programmes. The ‘Local Leaders’ initiative is an invitation to people to take the 2012 Games into their community and create their own celebrations next year, for the Olympic Torch Relay and other key moments during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. People are encouraged to sign up to the Local Leader programme at www.london2012.com/localleaders to receive further information on a range of themed celebration ideas focusing on the Opening Ceremony evening, gardening, quizzes and barbecues and be in the front row to receive free London 2012 event materials to support events.
Also launched today is the ‘Get Set for the Olympic Torch Relay’ education resource, available to all schools registered with Get Set, London 2012’s official education programme. The aim of the resource is to provide schools with cross-curricular resources aimed at teachers working with 3 to 16 year olds to aid learning around history of Olympic Torch Relays, the design of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and the Torch itself. A further education resource will launch next year to encourage schools to plan a welcome for the Olympic Flame and show support for the Torchbearers. Lloyds TSB, official Education Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, have launched their Flame Followers schools programme which compliments the Get Set resources, and gives schools once-in-a-lifetime opportunities be right at the heart of the excitement and celebrations of the relay.