Release Date: 14/06/2012
Scores of school children in Richmond upon Thames are set to get into the Olympic spirit by holding their own home-made torch relay event on 25 June.
Pupils from 13 schools in the Borough will run an 18 mile route through the local streets sharing their specially made torches in a recreation of the real thing. Each torchbearer has been specially chosen for their athletic, academic or extra-curricular achievements.
Children at each participating school will make and carry their own torch to the next school. Students at Richmond Park Academy will be under starters orders to get the relay under way at 9.05am before passing their torch to Christ’s School. There will be a five minute handover ceremony at each school gate and a large celebration when the pupils cross the finishing line at Hampton Academy at 1.50pm, almost five hours after the start of the relay.
Cllr Pamela Fleming, Strategic Cabinet Member for Community, Business and Culture on Richmond Council, said:
“The enthusiasm of the youngsters involved in this, Olympic relay, is absolutely inspiring and they should be extremely proud of themselves. Richmond upon Thames is an Olympic Borough and our students have certainly encapsulated the spirit of The Games through this project. The event will bring all the schools in the Borough together and will provide a lasting legacy of the Olympics for the children.
“The handmade torches will also be a poignant symbol of our dedication to fitness and competition and, perhaps one day, the athletes carrying them might be among our future Olympic heroes.”
The student torchbearers have been selected at their individual schools on the basis of effort and performance in PE classes or because they have demonstrated excellence or service in other fields. At Twickenham Academy for example, youngsters who have given up their time to volunteer and help out their peers will be recognised for their positive attitude and service.
Pupils at each school designed their own torches and competitions were held to decide which one would be used in the relay. The torches will pay homage to the official Olympic Torch while focusing on the school’s own characteristics and strengths.
The school relay was the brain-child of James Giblin of the Richmond School Sports Partnership. He said:
“We’re really excited about the Richmond Olympic Torch Relay. The London Olympic and Paralympic Games is going to be the biggest sporting event in history and it's going to be right on our doorstep. This is a fantastic opportunity for all our students to welcome the games and celebrate our efforts and achievements together in the spirit of the Olympics.”