Bloxwich people will be first in the borough to see the Olympic Flame as it passes through the village on Saturday 30 June 2012 before continuing on to Leamore, Birchills, Walsall, Willenhall and beyond as part of the Olympic Torch Relay Route, it was revealed today.
Thousands of people are expected to line the streets along the route and celebrate as local torchbearers proudly take part in the relay. Walsall Council is planning a number of events to mark the memorable historic occasion and local schools and organisations will be encouraged to get involved in the celebrations.
Bloxwich 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. LOCOG has worked closely with representatives from a number of sectors in Walsall borough to devise the route.
Councillor Anthony Harris, cabinet member for leisure and culture at Walsall Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the borough of Walsall. Local residents and surrounding communities will be able to see the Olympic Flame and witness the spectacle of the Olympic Torch Relay.
“It will provide a chance for the community to join together and celebrate the Olympic spirit and mark the countdown to the start of the games. It will also shine a light on the communities who will come to welcome the flame and support members of the community who have been chosen as torchbearers,” he added.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: “We are thrilled to confirm that Walsall, Bloxwich, Leamore and Willenhall will act as host locations for the Olympic Flame, extending an invitation to people in Walsall 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 Walsall 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% 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.
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.
David Moorcroft, West Midlands for 2012 Chair said: “What fantastic news for the residents of Walsall that they will have the opportunity to welcome the Olympic Flame on June 30th. We encourage communities to start thinking now about how they will celebrate as the Olympic Torch Relay, a once in a lifetime experience for many of us, signals the approach of the London 2012 Olympic Games.”
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.