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Inspire LeicesterShire - 500 days to London 2012

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500 days to London 2012

On the 15th March 2011, over 500 young people from Leicester and Leicestershire took part in a torch relay using the 1948 London Olympic Torch, to celebrate the landmark figure of 500 days to go to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The day started at Loughborough College, where young leaders from the Flames: Lighting the Way project delivered the torch relay to students from RNIB College Loughborough. The torch then left the site carried by Wells Sport Ambassador Mark Buckingham and Tommy Godwin, double bronze medallist at the 1948 London Olympic Games and moved onto Christ Church and St Peters C of E Primary School in Mountsorrel, where it arrived to a rapturous reception from staff, students and teachers, before being past from student to student around the school site.

Throughout the day students from Longslade Community College, Rushey Mead School, Soar Valley Community College, Herrick Primary, Netherhall Special School, Wyvern Primary. Taylor Road Primary and Ellesmere College, all took part in physical activity sessions delivered by the Flames: Lighting the way teams and had the honour of running with the 1948 torch and meeting Mark and Tommy.

The torch relay came to a close at Leicester City Football Club with one final lap of the pitch with Alan Birchenall, MBE and students from the Leicester Tigers Study Support Centre, cheered on by City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Among the youngsters to run with the torch was 10-year-old Yasirah Mota. She said: "I feel really happy to see the torch and it's really sentimental and exciting, I think the Olympics is really interesting so I'm looking forward to it." Her friend, Huda Mustafa, 10, said: "It's very interesting stuff. I am so excited." Alderson Edwards, 11, was also delighted to carry the torch. He said: "I watched the Beijing Olympics and really enjoyed it so it's going to be good having the Olympics next year in London.”I'm astounded to see the torch and do the relay race."

Dan Mitchinson, 2012 Games Legacy Co-ordinator for LeicesterShire said “Today has been an overwhelming success; it’s great to be able to engage with so many of our young people and allow them to have their own personal 2012 Games experience”.

Gaynor Nash, Regional 2012 Legacy Co-ordinator for Children and Young People said "What a day we all had with, at the heart if it, a powerful symbol in the actual London 1948 Torch. We were privileged too in having Tommy Godwin and Mark Buckingham with us for the Torch Relay. At LCFC, the Taiko drumming by Humphrey Perkins pupils and the presence of Sven-Goran Eriksson brought the Torch Relay to an inspiring conclusion.

Schools involved:

RNIB College, Loughborough; Christ Church and St Peters C of E Primary School; Longslade Community College; Stonehill High School; Rushey Mead Secondary School; Herick Primary School; Soar Valley Community College; Wyvern Primary School; Nether Hall Special School; Taylor Road Primary School; Ellesmere College; Tigers Learning Centre & Humphrey Perkins High School.

With thanks to:

Loughborough College; Flames: Lighting the way; British Heart Foundation; Wells Sports Foundation; Leicester City Football Club; Mark Buckingham - Wells Sports Foundation Ambassador; Katie Ingram- Wells Sports Foundation Ambassador; Tommy Godwin – Double bronze medallist at the London 1948 Olympic Games.

Flames: Lighting the Way

Flames: Lighting the Way was designed by Loughborough College in partnership with the British Heart Foundation National Centre. The Flames programme uses a model of sports leadership and volunteering to support the delivery of health based physical activity sessions to children and young people both within school and the community.

For further information visit: www.loughboroughflames.com

Wells Sports Foundation

The Wells Sports Foundation has been set up by Barrie Wells to encourage greater participation of young people in sports. Schools and other community organisations can apply for a visit from one of the 17 world class athletes in various parts of the UK that Barrie Wells is privately funding to aid their 2012 Olympic potential. The athletes will then visit worthwhile grassroots sports events to promote the many benefits of physical activity and to help young people realise their sporting potential.

For further information visit: www.wellssportsfoundation.org