Swindon will play host to the symbol of the Olympic Games next May as the flame of the games makes its way around the UK in the run-up to the London showpiece in July.
Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame through the town on Wednesday, 23 May next year – an opportunity for people to come together and share in the spirit of the Olympics and to take part in the Torch Relay.
Swindon is one of more than 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 the South West to devise the route.
Cllr Garry Perkins, Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council and the Cabinet Member responsible for Culture, said: “It is a tremendous honour for Swindon to host the Olympic Flame and to be part of the Olympic Torch Relay. It will bring the Olympics that much closer to Swindon and is an opportunity for local communities to share in the Olympic spirit and to start the countdown to the start of the 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.
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. See a 360 degree aerial panorama of the Olympic Park here.
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.
Link nomination helps Les to next stage of torch relay
Personal trainer Les Slinn is hoping to be one of the lucky runners who will carry the London Olympic 2012 torch for a one mile stage in its relay around the country.
Nominations were invited for people who have made significant contributions to their communities and Swindon Link and others put forward Les for his continuous support for Swindon Down’s Group and Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis.
Les said, “I’m told the torch relay organisers looked at the total number of nominations then selected one to find out about the nominee. Apparently they pulled out The Link’s submission which took my name to the next round. So thanks to The Link and also all the other people who put forward my name. I hope I will be able to carry the torch for Swindon and my chosen charities.”
He hopes to be one of the lucky carriers when the names are drawn in December.
As part of its support for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Samsung is providing a number of the Olympic Torchbearers through its public nomination process. To learn more about the Samsung nomination programme, please visit www.samsung.com/london2012
Olympic organisers launch ‘Local Leaders’
On 7 November LOCOG also launched 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.