OLYMPIC fever is set to sweep Chester and the surrounding areas when the Olympic Torch makes its momentous arrival on Tuesday, May 29.
Its grand entrance into our historic city will mark the first North West visit during the Torch’s 70-day tour of the country, and it is expected to draw huge crowds from far and near.
The landmark occasion will be supported by a programme of fantastic music and entertainment for the whole family, thanks to the Olympic Torch Relay organisers and Cheshire West and Chester Council as well as the relay organisers and sponsors.
And it is hoped that the event will enable the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics to be felt in our region long after the Games have finished in the summer.
The arrival of the Torch is a chance for the whole community to come together and be a part of the amazing London 2012 Olympic Games.
More than 20,000 free tickets made available to local residents for the centrepiece celebration at Chester Racecourse have already been snapped up.
However, everybody is encouraged to come out and line the streets as the Torch makes its dramatic journey to the racecourse.
The Olympic Flame is to be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers, the aim being that 95% of the population will be within a one-hour journey time of a chance to see the iconic Torch.
A number of local athletes as well as pillars of the community – each with a story of personal achievement and triumph – will be transporting the Flame through Chester and the outlying neighbourhoods, meaning everyone will have the opportunity to share in this special occasion.
Why not bring the whole family along, take some photographs to capture the historic event for years to come, or simply cheer and wave along in jubilation?
The Torch arrives in Saltney before embarking on a journey taking in some of our most famous and beloved landmarks, including Grosvenor Park, The Amphitheatre, The Eastgate Clock, Chester Cathedral and Chester Town Hall, before making its way to Chester Racecourse.
Being Chester there will be a very special Roman guard to meet the Torch as it crosses the Dee Bridge, while the last part of the journey to the racecourse will be via horse- back courtesy of last year’s Chester Cup winner, Overturn, who will be making a welcome return to the city. Olympic Torch silks have even been specially designed for the jockey!
Once at the racecourse Cheshire West and Chester Council will be putting on a show to remember, filled with hours of family entertainment, music, song and dance including the local community. Whatever the weather the event is set to be a memorable one, and the Torch is guaranteed a typically warm Chester welcome.
It is also a chance to showcase our beautiful area to the rest of the nation, as the BBC will be broadcasting from the relay and the racecourse.
Chester has much to be proud of, what with its stunning architecture and sites of huge historical importance, first-rate shopping, entertainment and dining venues, and a world-class horse racing calendar.
The Olympic Torch Relay’s visit is set to add yet another exciting chapter to the city’s already colourful and fascinating story.
Speaking about the Torch’s imminent arrival, Councillor Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and recreation, said: “The visit of the Olympic Torch will be a momentous occasion for Cheshire West and Chester, showcasing our historic city.
“Our extremely exciting Torch celebration plans are part of a wide programme of activities aimed at marking this unique year and creating a lasting beneficial legacy throughout our communities.
“It is no wonder this Olympic Torch Relay has been billed as ‘the most spectacular welcome the city has ever seen.’
“On behalf of Chester and the North West, please join me in giving a huge welcome to the Olympic Torch.”
Inluded in this article
Page 2 - The Olympic Torch in Chester
Page 3 - A warm welcome expected
Page 4 - 20,00 expected at the Raccourse
Page 5 - Racecourse FAQs
Page 6 - The Olympic Torch a symbol of good, plus Torch facts
Page 7 - Local Torch carriers
Page 8 - Years of hard work coming to fruition
Page 9 - Good luck to athletes with Chester links
Page 10 - People of Chester encouraged to get involved in sport
Download a map of the Olympic Torch's route through Chester here
The Olympic Torch in Chester
THE route’s been set and the people of Chester are ready to welcome the Olympic Torch as it enters the city on Tuesday, May 29.
Making its way through many of the main streets, the Torch is expected to attract huge crowds from across the county.
The historic Relay begins at the Welsh border in Saltney at 5.45pm, travelling through Hough Green and across the Overleigh roundabout into Handbridge.
From Handbridge the route takes the Torch over the Old Dee Bridge, where it will be met by a Roman soldier guard of honour, and on into the riverside Groves.
The route from here into the city centre passes up through Grosvenor Park, on to the amphitheatre via Vicars Lane and into St John Street to the Eastgate Clock.
A loop via St Werburgh Street and Northgate Street will then pass the Cathedral and Town Hall before the Torch heads towards its final destination at Chester Racecourse – via Watergate Street – where it’s expected to arrive at 6.50pm.
The Torch remains in the city overnight and there is a second chance to see it as the departure relay starts early the following morning – 6.56am – from the Suspension Bridge on the river.
A farewell to the Torch is planned to take place in the Groves with the Torchbearers leaving via Souters Lane, Pepper Street and Lower Bridge Street, down to Castle Drive.
The final leg will finish in the vicinity of Grosvenor Bridge/ Grosvenor Road at 7.08am.
Throughout the relay the flame will be carried by the specially- selected Torchbearers covering approximately 300m each, and communities along the route are expected to show their support.
The Torchbearers confirmed to carry the flame in Chester include those who were successful through the public nomination processes run by LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), and the presenting partners, Coca Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung.
LOCOG has endeavoured to slot all community Torchbearers within an hour of their nomination address so family and friends can cheer them on. Each Torchbearer will wear a white and gold uniform which has been designed by Adidas.
Local Chester City Councillor Samantha Dixon said: “This commemoration will highlight, as well as the sport, the historical and the cultural aspirations of the Olympiad – there for all to see.
“And the route of the Torch – both arrival and departure – takes place through Chester, passing some of its world famous sites.
“I am honoured that our city has been chosen to host this prestigious event.”
Download a map of the Olympic Torch's route through Chester here
A warm welcome expected
AS the Olympic Torchbearers arrive in Chester on May 29 they can expect a warm welcome from some of the county's best bands. Providing a musical accompaniment to the Torch will be:
The Bandstand at the Groves – City of Chester Brass Band
The talented musicians of Chester Brass Band are sure to keep the crowds enter- tained at the Bandstand at the Groves.
Dating back to the early 1850s, Chester Brass Band was formed with money left over from a fund established by the Ladies of Chester to buy a present for Queen Victoria.
This money was then donated to the Blue Coat School Foundation, and so the band was born!
Today Chester Brass Band is totally self-supporting as a registered charity, and in 1997 was successful in obtaining a Lottery Grant which enabled the purchase of new instruments.
It also allowed the band to widen its public access and form a Training Band.
Although the band is no longer known by its original name – The Blue Coat Band – the link to the past is maintained through the members’ distinctive blue uniform.
The jacket also carries the famous Eastgate Clock, recognisable around the world as a symbol of Chester – a heritage which the band is proud to represent, more than 150 years after it first made music in the city!
Grosvenor Park – Farndon & District Brass Band
Farndon & District Brass Band – or the Friendly Band, as it is known locally – will be on hand at Grosvenor Park to provide a musical extravaganza.
Initially known as the Farndon Jubilee Band, the group was founded in 1897 with the help of a Lancashire cotton man who came to live in nearby Holt.
Today the band is, unsurprisingly, as popular as ever, and continues to be in great demand for local engagements both big and small.
Chester Town Hall – The Weavils and Bollin Brass Band
If you're heading to Chester Town Hall to watch the Relay, keep an ear out for The Weavils and Bollin Brass Band. Northwich- based band The Weavils has an instrumental line-up that includes a tuba, guitars, saxophones, penny whistles, hand percussion and plastic clarinet.
Harnessing their individual talents, band members play everything from jazz, Latin and Caribbean arrangements to guitar-led blues and lyrical penny whistle tunes from around the world.
Likewise, the Bollin Brass Band is a Cheshire quintet comprising two cornets, an euphonium, trombone and tuba. Formed 20 years ago, the band was born out of the desire to play small ensemble material, and the talented musicians play a variety of music drawn from several genres.
Download a map of the Olympic Torch's route through Chester here
MORE than 20,000 people are set to attend a spectacular celebration show as part of the Olympic Torch Relay at Chester Racecourse on Tuesday, May 29 (entry by ticket only)!
Organised by the Olympic Torch Relay organisers and Cheshire West and Chester Council, the free event will provide five hours of family entertainment, including superb music and dance performances, and a special welcome to the Torch by the Lord Mayor of Chester.
The show starts at 5pm (gates open at 3.30pm), and the council is delighted to announce that Welsh rockers Kids in Glass Houses will be one of the headline acts.
The band, brought to the event by Coca Cola, are renowned for their well-executed tunes and have notched up three successful albums and a string of singles. Since supp- orting the likes of the Lostprophets, Manic Street Preachers and The Goo Goo Dolls, the five boys from Cardiff have gone on to become one of Wales’ most exciting bands, and are set to rock the racecourse.
As part of the event, Theatre in the Quarter will also be reprising elements of their captivating performance Across the World. The tale of a Chester giant, who, like an Olympic athlete in pursuit of gold, travels the world to find her dream, the performance will feature more than 350 local singers and dancers.
Composed by Matt Baker with lyrics by Helen Newall, the piece was originally created as the city’s contribution to Music Nation (a spectacular weekend of music organised by the BBC and LOCOG in March this year) and performed at the Amphitheatre.
Participating choirs at the show include A Handbag of Harmonies, A Handbag for a Day Choir, Decibellas, Fireflies, Frodsham and District Choral Society, Highfield Male Voice Choir, Tattenhall Community Choir, The Chester Ladies’ Choir and The Spinney Choir. Schools taking part include Blacon High School, Chester Blue Coat CE Primary School, Dee Point Nursery School, Helsby Hillside Primary School and Dodleston Primary School, as well as Highfield Community Primary School, J H Godwin Primary School, Oaklands School, St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School, The Arches Community Primary School and The Bishops’ Blue Coat CE High School. Homegrown Dance Theatre and Chester Schools’ Concert Band will also be starring in the event.
In addition, the show will include the dramatic arrival of the Torch where it will light a cauldron at the racecourse; as well as special guest interviews, films, dance and a spectacular finale – The Moment When... at 9pm.
The Moment When… encom- passes two elements: a programme of community engagement where thousands are taking part in Flash-Mobs and dance performances across the region, and three large shows taking place in iconic outdoor locations through the summer, starting with the Chester performance.
This truly amazing show was co-produced by two of North West England's leading cultural organisations – Walk the Plank and Cheshire Dance – and is billed as a highlight of the event.
It includes a cast of 500 community dancers, professional dance artists, daring aerial performers, as well as fireworks, impressive special effects and specially-composed music set against the iconic backdrop of Chester's historic walls.
The Moment When… Flash-Mob routine has been created by Cheshire Dance’s artistic director Jacqueline McCormick, to celebrate the return of the Olympic Games in a fun, accessible and energetic way.
Flash-Mobs can be pre-arranged or suddenly performed unannounced.
Look out for a Flash-Mob happening during the Torch celebration evening and get ready to take part yourself! For more information visit www. themomentwhen.org/take-part.
The show was inspired by significant and life-changing moments – as well as the return of the Olympic Games to the UK – and is a flagship project of the Cultural Olympiad in the North West.
For further information, visit www.embracethegames.org
3.30pm – Gates open at Chester Racecourse
5pm – The start of the Olympic Torch celebration event
6.50pm – The Olympic Torch arrives on stage and will light a cauldron
8pm – The Sunset Watch – a celebration of local culture
9pm – The Moment When...
10pm – Show ends
Entry to the racecourse is by ticket only.
The park and ride service will operate until midnight.
When does the racecourse open?
Entry to the racecourse will be from 3.30pm. There are two entrances: Watergate Square, New Crane Street (main racecourse entrance) and from the Little Roodee car park. Entry is free, but is by ticket only.
Is the show suitable for children?
The show is suitable for the whole family, but children must be accompanied by an adult.
Is there wheelchair access?
Yes, an accessible viewing platform will also be available. Access to this will be from the Watergate Square entrance.
How do I get a ticket to the celebration show?
Unfortunately all of the tickets have now been allocated.
Is there any parking at the racecourse?
No vehicles will be permitted at the racecourse. All city centre car parks will be open but demand will be high, so it's recommended that the park and ride sites are used.
Will the park and ride sites remain open?
The park and ride sites will operate until midnight. From 3pm all park and ride buses will visit the Little Roodee car park, and all departures after 7pm will be from the Little Roodee car park.
City centre car parks will remain open until midnight on Tuesday, May 29.
Can I bring a picnic to the racecourse?
Yes, it is permitted to bring your own picnic.
Is there anything I can't bring with me?
Glass bottles, umbrellas, camping chairs, gazebos and barbecues. Pets will not be permitted on the site, other than assistance dogs.
Will there be food available at the racecourse?
There will be a variety of hot and cold food and drink available from retailers.
Will roads be closed?
Nuns Road is closed both to vehicles and pedestrians from Sunday, May 27 until Wednesday, May 30 – this is because the area is being used for the performance of The Moment When...
On Tuesday, May 29 there will be additional road closures:
Handbridge and Old Dee Bridge, 6pm-7pm
Souters Lane, 6pm-7pm
Castle Drive at the University, 6pm-7pm
In addition there will be short delays at Overleigh roundabout at approximately 5.45pm and on St Martin's Way at about 6.15pm. This will be managed by the police.
For a full list of FAQs, visit www.embracethegames.org
The Olympic Torch - A symbol of good
FOR many, the Olympic Torch has come to symbolise everything that is good about humanity.
You look at the Torch and you suddenly feel a unique sense of pride erupt from within, an urge to triumph over adversity, and a desire to come together in peace and harmony.
Images of athletes gone by striving to achieve their ultimate goals also flood your mind when your eyes rest on the iconic Olympic Flame.
These are just some of the feelings that will no doubt be stirred up not only in Chester, but throughout the entire nation and beyond as the Torch makes it way around the country during the Olympic Torch Relay.
After being lit in Greece, the Olympic Torch makes its way to the UK, arriving on May 18 before making a historic 70-day trip around the entire country.
The aim of the Relay is to bring the Olympics to every corner of the British Isles, allowing everybody the opportunity to share in the excitement of the Games, as well as become part of a historical tradition which dates back all the way to the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece, when a sacred flame burned continually on the altar of the goddess Hera.
Here are some facts you may or may not know about the Olympic Torch Relay:
Following a short tour around Greece, a special ritual to light the Torch takes place before every Games at the Temple of Hera in Olympia – the ruins of the Ancient Games. The Torch is then handed over to the new host city in the Panathenaiko stadium in Athens.
The Torch officially symbolises peace, unity and friendship.
The London 2012 Olympic Torch features 8,000 small cut-out circles, which represent the 8,000 Torchbearers.
The Torch will be carried through more than 1,000 cities, towns and villages in the UK, including Chester, travelling a total distance of 8,000 miles.
The Torch itself stands at 800mm high and weighs 800 grams.
Each Torchbearer will carry the Flame an average of 300 metres.
The Olympic Torch will travel an average of 110 miles each day.
The starting location for the UK Relay will be Land’s End.
The lighting of the cauldron during the Opening Ceremony marks the official start of the Games. Likewise, when it is extinguished, it signifies the end of the Games.
The Torch was designed by East Londoners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.
Local Torch carriers
TAKING part in the Olympic Torch Relay will be a proud moment for badminton star Jenny Moore .
The 16-year-old Queen’s School student, from Saughall, has achieved international stardom as a badminton champion and represented England in both singles and doubles matches across Europe.
She trains an impressive 10 to 12 hours a week – five times in Manchester and the rest at Northgate Arena.
During March, Jenny competed in both the U17 and U19 National Championships and won the girls' doubles championship title at both events.
She said: “I was just so excited to find out I was going to carry the Torch.
“All my friends and family will be there watching me on the day, and I just can’t wait.”
Two from same village
IT seems there’s something in the water in Kelsall, with not one but two Torchbearers from the village set to carry the Olympic flame.
In a remarkable coincidence, neighbours Alex Staniforth and David Goodier, who live just a few houses apart on Bramley Court in Kelsall, have
both been chosen from thousands of hopefuls to carry the flame in the Olympic Torch Relay on Tuesday, May 29.
Teenager Alex, 16, a student at Tarporley High School, has already achieved more then most people his age.
The outdoors enthusiast was chosen from thousands of local and national hopefuls after being nominated to carry the Torch by a friend’s mother, one year after making history for being the youngest person ever to scale the UK’s three highest mountains alone.
He raised more than £1,700 for various charities, climbing Ben Nevis, Mount Snowdon and Scafell Pike in just under 22 hours as part of the National Three Peaks Challenge.
Alex said: “I was totally shocked when I was told I had been chosen, and it took a while to sink in.
“But it is going to be an experience which will live with me for the rest of my life.”
Bank worker David Goodier, 45, who was nominated by his manager for his long-standing voluntary work with 1st Tarporley Scouts, said it was “phenomenal” that he and his neighbour had both been chosen.
For the past seven years, David has balanced his full-time job with leading the Tarporley pack and has dedicated a huge part of his spare time to working with the Scouts.
A former Scout himself, David acts as an influential mentor to the young members, teaching them life skills and taking them on regular outdoor trips.
He added: “I felt so proud when I was nominated, it’s nice that the work I do is acknowledged and it is great to be involved.”
CARRYING the Olympic Flame through Chester will inspire generations of locals to dream of one day competing in the Games. And, for Huw Barrett, a Torchbearer on May 29, this ambition may well come true.
At 17, Huw has played hockey across Europe and in four years’ time the teenager is hoping to represent Great Britain in
hockey at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Huw was the only player from the North West chosen to play for the England Under 16s hockey squad and last year was named as one of Lloyds TSB Local Heroes following a nomination by the England Hockey Board.
“When I found out I was going to be carrying the Olympic Torch I was amazed – it was a great honour to be considered, and especially incredible to be asked to carry it around my home town,” said Huw, a pupil at Christleton High School.
“I am so grateful to Lloyds TSB for giving me the opportunity.”
Canon Chris Humphries
A SHORT run carrying the Olympic Torch through Saltney should be no problem for Chester Cathedral’s Precentor Canon, Chris Humphries, on May 29.
As well as his duties in the clergy, Essex-born Chris, 59, has always been a keen sportsman, and has competed in running events including the Great North Run, the Chester Half Marathon and the Mercian Regiment Marathon.
Chris, who has been at the cathedral since 2005 and was nominated by a member of the congregation, is responsible for choosing music and readings for services, and writes up to 60 of his own hymns a month. He said: “I am delighted and honoured to represent both the city and the cathedral by taking part in this once-in- a-life-time event.”
AS a keen volunteer and fundraiser for the Boughton Belles Netball Club, Emma Jones from Chester is an ideal Olympic Torchbearer.
The 20-year-old was nominated by Cheshire West and Chester Council for her efforts assisting the netball club and was delighted to be selected for this honour.
Emma joined the club, which now has more than 300 members, in 2007 while attending The Bishop’s Blue Coat Church of England High School, and says being a member made her realise that she wanted to be a PE teacher.
Although now in her second year at Leeds Metropolitan University, Emma still takes responsibility for four to six age groups. She is also the club’s fundraising officer.
Emma said: “I could not believe that I was chosen to be a Torchbearer, and I am really looking forward to the Olympic Torch celebrations. It is great to be part of this history-making movement.”
Emma will carry the Torch on Wednesday, May 30.
THE Olympic Games not only represents sporting excellence, but often also triumph over adversity – something which Ian Powell knows all about.
Ian, 26, who has been selected as a Torchbearer, was born with spina bifida and has always been confined to a wheelchair.
At one point, doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of survival, and he has spent nearly every year of his life in hospital.
But instead of letting it get him down, Ian, from Blacon, has turned his difficulties into something positive.
Last year he raised £1,500 by organising a quiz for local disability support centre Dial House, where he used to work as an administrative officer.
He has also given his free time every week over the last three years to coach and support the junior section of his local wheelchair basketball team.
In recent months Ian has abseiled down a viaduct, done a parachute jump, visited the USA alone, moved into his own home and come second in a stand-up comedy competition at the Laugh Inn.
Nominated to carry the Olympic Flame by his mother, he said it was “tremendous” news when he found out.
NOMINATED by her school teacher and described as an inspiration, Caitlin Kennedy, 18, has been selected as an Olympic Torchbearer.
Through her position as Platinum Sports Ambassador within the Cheshire Oaks Schools Partnership at Whitby High School, Caitlin has worked within the community to build confidence and skills through sport.
Tasked with promoting sport and physical activity, during her four years in the role Caitlin has organised and directed a vast range of extra-curricular events, including a Mini Olympics in which more than 400 pupils from Whitby High’s feeder primary schools took part.
Her work to improve the lives of others through sport also includes organising and running extra-curricular clubs, school competitions, Duke of Edinburgh awards, residential trips, coaching windsurfing and training young sports leaders.
Caitlin said: “It’s so exciting to be part of the Olympic Games, and I am delighted that I have been given the opportunity to carry the Torch as it passes through West Cheshire. The nerves are starting to kick in now, but I know the event will be fantastic!”
AGE holds no boundaries for Margaret McKeegan, 78, who will carry the Olympic Torch when it comes to Chester on May 29. Grandmother Margaret, of Francis Street, is a veteran fundraiser and for the past three decades has organised events to raise money for blood pressure monitors in hospitals, cardiac rehab units, disabled people and various charities in the Chester area, as well as helping friends, colleagues and neighbours who are experiencing financial or personal problems.
She has also sent more than 2,300 shoe boxes of goodies to soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
She said: “Some of the lads have got nobody. They write to me regularly to tell me how much they appreciate the gifts. I put in things like a packet of Pringles, tins of Spam and ham, noodles, shaving gel, deodorant and biscuits. They like to have things that remind them of home.”
Margaret was nominated by her friend Pam Moyle, who said: “She is one of the most caring, hard-working and positive people I know.”
HOPING that her participation in the torch relay through Chester won’t be her only chance to shine in the Olympic spotlight is local teenage swimming ace Lucy Doherty.
Sixteen-year-old Helsby High School student Lucy finished third in the Women’s 50m backstroke at the North West Amateur Swimming Championships, and this summer has trials for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Despite suffering from a bowel condition, asthma, dyslexia and scotopic sensitivity syndrome, Lucy trains 20 hours a week in backstroke at Liverpool and Runcorn, and recently set two new records for her age group at a swimming gala in Sunderland.
Mum Helen says Lucy has used sport as a therapy for the challenges she has faced.
She added: “She has used swimming to prove to herself there are things in life she can do, and this has had a knock-on effect with her performance in school in the fact that she has already passed a number of GCSEs.
“Lucy doesn’t give up and is a shining example to others who have similar conditions to her.”
Download a map of the Olympic Torch's route through Chester here
AFTER years of preparation and hard work, the 2012 London Olympics finally gets underway on July 27.
The world will be treated to a fortnight of top sporting action, with all eyes firmly on our capital and the country as a whole.
The Olympic Games is a unique and special event, seeing the very best athletes in their individual field, from all the nations of the world, coming together and pushing their talents to the maximum to be crowned ultimate champion. But it is so much more than simply the winning.
The Olympics is about bringing the world together in one stadium, under one roof; different nations and different races hand in hand, conflicts put well aside.
For London specifically and the UK in general, it is the perfect opportunity to welcome the world into our country and show them what we can do. (London will become the first city to officially host the modern Olympic Games three times, following the 1908 and 1948 events).
And taking a first glance at the preparations, it looks like we will be giving the world one hell of a show!
The Games take place from July 27 to August 12. On July 27 the Opening Ceremony will attract a global audience of an estimated billion people, and promises to showcase the UK at its very best. Brought together by award-winning movie director Danny Boyle, the Shakespeare- inspired ceremony, called Isles of Wonder, will include music, dance and a cast of 20,000.
As well as this there will be music and song from some of our most legendary chart acts who will headline an open-air concert in Hyde Park to coincide with the ceremony (so far the line-up is rumoured to include the likes of Snow Patrol, Stereophonics, Duran Duran and Paolo Nutini).
And surely the most emotional moment will be the Athletes’ Parade, when 10,000 sportsmen and women from more than 200 Olympic nations will walk together around the brand new Olympic Stadium running track, proudly holding aloft their individual flags.
The Olympic Stadium itself will form the centrepiece for the Olympic Games and the Paralympics (which take place between August 29 and
As well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the Stadium, which has a capacity of 80,000, will stage all the major athletic action, and will be supported by a mix of new and pre-existing venues within the newly-created 500-acre Olympic Park and beyond.
Athletes from 205 Olympic teams are expected to participate in the Games, featuring in a programme of 26 sports and a total of 39 disciplines.
Sports include diving, swimming, archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, canoe slalom, cycling, BMX, equestrian, field hockey, football, gymnastics, judo, rowing, shooting, tennis, beach volleyball, wrestling, and for the first time, women’s
So let us come together and welcome the world into our land for what promises to be a truly memorable moment in our already colourful history.
SOME of our Olympic hopefuls boast strong links to Cheshire and its borders. Flying the flag for our region is veteran marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, who will again attempt to win an Olympic medal, the one event which has alluded her throughout her long and illustrious career.
Despite a disappointing start to 2012 (she struggled in the Vienna half marathon earlier this year) Paula, who was born in Davenham and started her running career with the Frodsham Harriers, hopes the home crowd will spur her onto victory.
Hoping to secure a place within Team GB is gymnast Beth Tweddle.
Beth, who lives in Bunbury, attended Queen’s School in Chester, and is considered one of our most successful gymnasts ever, having won the World Championships three times.
Elsewhere, Pulford-born and former Chester King’s School student James Fair is on course to keep goal for Great Britain in the hockey event, further enforcing his status as Britain’s number one goalkeeper.
Jo Leedham, a former Ellesmere Port Panthers player who hails from Little Sutton, is a step closer to securing her place at the 2012 London Olympics in the GB senior women’s basketball team.
Former Chester King’s School students Chris Bartley, from Farndon, and Tom James, who started his rowing career on the River Dee, will both be vying for places in Team GB’s rowing squads, as will Victoria Thornley, who hails from Holt and attended Bishop Heber High School in Malpas.
Finally, water polo player Fiona McCann, from Great Boughton, will be vying for a slot on Team GB and hoping to secure a place on the medal podium.
Good luck to all our athletes!
People of Chester encouraged to get involved in sport
AS excitement builds for the Olympic Torch Relay coming to Chester, Sport Cheshire is challenging Cheshire residents to take part in sporting activities, and asking: Have you been inspired to take part or get involved in sport?
Jackie Bryson, chief executive of Sport Cheshire, encourages residents to take part. She said: “We see a real opportunity for residents to be part of the London 2012 legacy through Places, People, Play, the national programme which is being delivered locally. It’s easy to find out where you can play sport, volunteer in sport, gain qualifications in sport and be part of a national legacy, and our team at Sports Cheshire can show you the way.”
There are also opportunities to join one of the national programmes:
Become one of 40,000 Sport Makers and you'll not only get the skills, knowledge and opportunities you need to get more people playing sport, but in addition you'll become part of the Games’ legacy.
Find out more about the Community Games – it’s coming to an area near you! The Community Games programme will give thousands of people their own local Olympic and Paralympic moment.
Run in England – regardless of your age, fitness level, motivation or location, you can be a part of Run England, and benefit from being a part of England's running community. Find out more about becoming a Run Leader and getting your community more active.
For more information about Sport Makers, Community Games and Run in England, and for links to a wide range of sports, clubs and opportunities or to get more active, visit www.sportcheshire.org .
This year marks the beginning of the "golden decade" of sport, and Sport Cheshire is encouraging residents to make a pledge as part of the London 2012 legacy – do something different to mark the year of the Games!