THE Olympic Flame is coming to the borough next year and the Mayor wants everyone to welcome it as it travels through.
The flame will reach Craigavon on Tuesday, June 5 next year.
Two people who have been nominated to carry the Olympic Flame through the borough are Dollingstown girl Natalie Barr from Lurgan Ladies Hockey Club, who is Captain of Ulster Under 18 and represents Ireland at Under 18 level, and Laura Casey from Lurgan, who represented Ireland in the World Youth Olympic in Singapore and the Elite Junior World Championships in Budapest.
“Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame through the main streets of Portadown, but I’m urging the entire borough young and old to come out and support this fantastic accolade for Craigavon,” commented the Mayor of Craigavon Councillor Alan Carson.
“The Olympic Torch relay will shine a spotlight on the people and places of Craigavon and demonstrate that the Olympic Spirit is alive and well,” he added.
Theresa Donaldson Chief Executive said: “Undoubtedly the reason that Craigavon was chosen is because of its proud sporting history and range of sports offered across the borough. I know that the whole community will turn out in strong support of the Olympic Flame. This is a great day for Craigavon.”
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: “We are thrilled to confirm that Portadown will act as a host location for the Olympic Flame, extending an invitation to people throughout Craigavon to welcome the Olympic Torch Relay during its journey around the UK.
“This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across Craigavon to start planning how they can be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity and show their support for the inspirational Torchbearers chosen to carry the Olympic Flame as we count down to the start of the Olympics.”
The 70-day Olympic Torch Relay will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on May 19. It will then 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, 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.
The Olympic Flame will be carried by 8,000 inspirational torchbearers each of whom has a story of personal achievement or contribution to the local community.
In December this year, successful nominees will be contacted with a conditional offer with the final torchbearers places confirmed from February 2012 onwards.