Monday, 19 March 2012

Olympic Torch Relay route through the Lancaster district announced

The exact route the Olympic Torch will take through the Lancaster district on Friday 22nd June has just been revealed.

During its journey the Torch will be passing through Carnforth, Bolton-le-Sands, Hest Bank, Morecambe and Lancaster on its way to an evening celebration in Blackpool.

Also revealed today are the names of the Torchbearers who will be carrying the Torch through the district.

They include Matt Prior from Carnforth, who was nominated by his mum for the inspirational way in which he has used the power of sport to learn and progress.

Having been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder and epilepsy when he was five, sport quickly became an integral part of Matt’s life and he is currently studying for an extended BTEC diploma at Lancaster and Morecambe College.

Matt has completed his bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh awards and is currently working towards his gold. He will be carrying the Torch through Morecambe.

"I am so pleased to have got through the selection process to be an Olympic Torchbearer,"  he explained.

"My mum nominated me ages ago because of how I have be able to use sport to learn and progress.

“Using sport, including all the different games, the rules, fairness, teamwork and individual skills I have found that sport truly is for all.

“There will always be something to be good at in sport no matter where your strengths lie."

Lancaster City Council is particularly keen to see as many schools involved in the celebrations as possible and watch our local Torchbearers as they carry the Olympic Flame. Schools can access free learning resources linked to the Olympic Torch Relay through Get Set (www.london2012.com/getset), the official London 2012 education programme.

The activities are designed to help schools and colleges make the most of the Relay by lining the route, and cheering on their local Torchbearers.

One of the schools the Torch will be passing on the route is Lancaster Road Primary School in Morecambe.

“When the Torch Relay passes by the school it will bring the Olympic event alive to all those who are privileged enough to see it,:" said Paul Gabriel, the school’s headteacher. "What can seem distant and remote will be there on our doorstep.  A ‘Once in a Lifetime’ event.  We hope to use the Olympics as a tool to motivate all our children and this will serve as a massive inspiration.

“The children are already very excited at the prospect of seeing the Torch.   They will be able to watch the subsequent games on TV and actually feel part of it – ‘they were there’ when that torch passed.  Perhaps in the future  some of these children will be representing Great Britain at the Olympics.”

As an added bonus, Lancaster City Council be holding a celebration of sport over the weekend of the Torch Relay.

Plans are still being developed but it is anticipated that the celebration will include a city centre cycling race on the Friday and watersports, kite surfing, cycling and entertainment in Morecambe on the Saturday/Sunday (23rd - 24th June).

“With much of the action taking place at the Olympic Park in London, watching the Torch Relay is one way in which we can all share in the excitement," feels Coun Ron Sands, Cabinet member with responsibility for tourism and culture.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to say ‘I was there’. The Torch’s passage through our district marks the exact half way point of its 70 day journey through the UK and the eyes of the world will be upon us.

“I’m hoping as many people as possible will dig out their Union flags, take part in this unique opportunity and show just how much we take pride in our communities.

"This is also an opportune moment to showcase our district’s incredible sporting opportunities to visitors seeking action and adventure. I am certain we can look forward to a high octane weekend of excitement.”

• More details of the Torch’s route through the Lancaster district can be found at www.lancaster.gov.uk/london2012 or www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay

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