Olympic torch's visit to Haverhill will be 'a day to remember'
Wednesday, 9th November 2011.
Business leaders and local representatives have joined with Haverhill's MP Matthew Hancock in welcoming the news that the Olympic Torch is to visit Haverhill on its journey to the Games next July.
The exact route for the torch is not yet decided and will not be announced until July 2012. But St Edmundsbury is already at the starting gate with exciting plans to help schools, local communities and organisations to mark the occasion. To register an interest in taking part in the activities, call 01284 757080
Haverhill is one of over 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 eastern region to devise the route.
MP Matthew Hancock said: “The decision to parade the Olympic torch through Haverhill shows it is a town on the up.
"Sending the Olympic torch to Haverhill is recognition of the growing importance of the town, and the increasing contribution it makes to the country. This is a once in a lifetime chance to see the Olympic flame parade through the town.
“The spirit of the Olympics is coming to Suffolk, and I'm sure July 7 will be a day to remember.”
Sarah Howard, chairman of Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are excited and delighted that the Olympic torch will be passing through Haverhill. For many of us seeing the torch pass through our town will be a once-in-a-lifetime event.
“We think this is a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their companies, in particular retailers as the torch relay will undoubtedly attract many visitors to the town.
"It is a time for celebration and to mark the fact that 2012 will see the UK hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time since 1948. It is a historic event and one which not everyone in the UK will get to see up close. Our town is privileged to host such an occasion.”
St Edmundsbury Borough Council leader Cllr John Griffiths said: "The news that the Olympic torch is coming to Haverhill will delight the people of the borough, who have embraced the Olympic vision wholeheartedly. The street level celebration on Saturday, July 7, will add to the excitement, coming so close to the beginning of the Games."
Sebastian Coe, chairman of LOCOG said: "We are thrilled to confirm that Haverhill will act as a host location for the Olympic Flame, extending an invitation to people in St Edmundsbury 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 the borough 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 Olympic Games."
The 70-day Olympic Torch Relay, will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of May 19. 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 per cent of the population.
The street by street detail of the route will be confirmed next year.
People are invited to view the interactive map at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelaymap to find their nearest community through which the Olympic Flame will be carried.
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.
In December successful nominees will be contacted with a conditional offer and final torchbearer places will start to be confirmed from February 2012 onwards.
The full list of Suffolk towns and villages on the torch's route is: Lowestoft, Wrentham, Reydon, Southwold, Kelsale, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh, Wickham Market, Ufford, Melton, Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Ipswich, Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket.
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