The route the Olympic Flame will take through Swindon on its historic way to the London 2012 Olympic Stadium has been revealed today – and everyone is invited to celebrate this spectacular journey.
At lunchtime on Wednesday 23 May, the flame will light up the streets of Chiseldon and Wroughton before arriving in Swindon. It will travel up Kingshill, passing the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, before turning down Victoria Road and reaching the town centre.
The Torch Relay will stop at Wharf Green, where the Big Screen is showcasing its travels, and be greeted by a host of entertainment. After navigating Swindon’s famous Magic Roundabout, the Flame will next stop at Swindon College, in North Star Avenue then its journey through town finishes passing the BMW Plant in Gypsy Lane.
Inspirational local people have also been selected as torchbearers who will have the honour of carrying the Olympic Flame. Torchbearer Damien Davis, from Cricklade, said: “I am hugely humbled to be playing such a special role and can’t wait. It’s going to be amazing.”
The loss of a close friend Wayne Wilson to Leukaemia spurred Damien, aged 36, into action last year. Together with Wayne’s brother Carl and four friends, Team Wayne raised more than £9,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research following their intrepid endeavours to climb the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales: Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike. He said: “We ended up climbing the wrong mountain, but it worked wonders for our fundraising total. The Olympic Flame route is clearly mapped out so I’m sure there’s no risk of getting lost this time!
“I am so proud to represent what Team Wayne stands for and will be running with Wayne along my side, holding that torch up in the air with great pride indeed.”
Damian was joined at the torch relay preview on Friday 17 March by Great Britain under 23 wheelchair basketball player Ben Fox from Westlea. His dad Andy nominated Ben to carry the flame through the Coca Cola Future Flames scheme.
Ben is taking a sports coaching BTEC at New College and plays for Wolverhampton Rhinos basketball team and the South West Scorpions. He also coaches Swindon Shock wheechair basketball team as well as coaching other sports with both disabled and able bodied pupils. He said: "It’s a huge honour to be selected to carry the flame; it’s very exciting."
Ben has yet to find out where he will carry the flame but he’s been told his ‘mile’ will be near Gloucester at the end of May.
Pictured above and below, Chief Executive of in Swindon town centre management company with flame carriers Damien Davis, white shirt, and Ben Fox, red shirt. Images: Richard Wintle
Swindon is one of more than 1,000 towns, cities and villages on the Torch Relay route and one of just 22 places with a live Big Screen site. Details of the streets and approximate timings are being announced well in advance so everyone can plan how to celebrate the arrival of the Flame and make any necessary changes to their routine.
People are encouraged to line the route and also get involved in the fun activities organised by Swindon Borough Council and inSwindon BID (Business Improvement District) at Wharf Green from noon until 2pm.
The flame will not be visible at all times on the route, so a map has been created showing when and where it is on display at www.swindon.gov.uk/2012
Swindon Borough Council is working closely with Wiltshire Police and LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) to minimise disruption and help people enjoy the occasion. To avoid unnecessary delays on 23 May, a system of rolling road closures will be in place as the Torch Relay and associated convoy follows its route.
Councillor Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Culture said: “The Flame symbolises the Olympic spirit and we’re thrilled that it’s coming to Swindon. Sharing the route it will be carried along by local torchbearers now means communities can think about how to celebrate and get involved in this special journey. Together we can all make this Swindon’s moment to shine and I look forward to hearing about your exciting plans.”
If you have any questions about getting involved or how the Torch Relay may affect you, mail: Torchrelayenquiries@swindon.gov.uk
Images by Richard Wintle
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