It’s not just the Torchbearers who are limbering up for action in Swindon on Wednesday 23 May – plucky Jacob Hirsch-Holland is all set to reach new heights with some spellbinding athletic feats.
UK slackline champion Jacob, better known as Jake the Juggler, from Shaw in West Swindon, will be presenting his first public high line performance in a dramatic showpiece at the Live Site at Wharf Green in Swindon Town Centre.
Jacob, 24, pictured pracitising at low level, said: “I’m really excited about the show in front of all those people. The performance requires quite a bit of physical strength and nerves of steel. I’ve learned to cope with nerves beforehand and prepare in much the same way as an athlete – the adrenalin gets pumping and you can’t wait to really go for it.”
The display is part of the Battle for the Winds, which will see counties across the South West create spectacular outdoor performances in celebration of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing events.
Jacob will play Eurus, Lord of East Winds, and be awoken by a Spirit who calls him to embark on a special journey to find the soul of Swindon. He said: “I’ve got a fantastic purple costume, which is great fun to wear. The aerial artistry and hoop work is going to be pretty impressive, so come along to see something really striking.”
There are also plenty of other reasons to head down to the Live Site for a dazzling array of festivities. Sporting demonstrations include wheelchair basketball, gymnastics and fencing. A live samba band, dance performances and cheerleaders will also help the celebrations go with a swing.
Cllr Garry Perkins, Lead Member for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Swindon is all set for a fantastic day to celebrate the Torch Relay passing through the Borough. People of all ages are preparing to line the route and get involved in the exciting festivities at the Live Site. The Olympics are all about reaching new heights and giving your absolute best and Swindon will be doing just that for this tremendous occasion.”
Timetable of all the Live Site action, which is free of charge and open to everyone
11.30am Shooting hoops! Come and watch a fast-paced wheelchair basketball exhibition match
12pm Crowds welcomed and a parade will leave from the Cenotaph making its journey down to Wharf Green with five local primary schools, led by a gold stilt walker and Swindon Samba
12.05pm Be swept up by the mesmerising flips and tricks of Espirit gymnastics
12.15pm Parade enters Live Site in a carnival spirit with the sensational live Swindon Samba
12.25pm Watch the skill of Swindon Fencing Club in action and be inspired to join
12.45pm See Swindon Dance in all its glory performing Going for Gold
1pm The cheerleaders from Swindon Lightening will be showing their skills to the crowd
1.15pm Be amazed by the story of the ‘Search for Swindon’s Soul’ as we watch aerial hoop artists and slackliners
1.30pm Live interviews
1.37pm Torch arrival – (this time may change, if delays are encountered)
2pm Finally enjoy the energising moves of Bollywood dancers