Olympic flame to burn here

THE burning Olympic torch will be carried through Calderdale on Sunday June 24 on its way to the 2012 London Games.

Halifax and Brighouse are among around 1,000 towns and cities honoured.

It is not known who the torchbearers will be but among those nominated is wheelchair sprinter Hannah Cockroft – pictured – of Mount Tabor, Halifax.

Mayor of Calderdale Coun Nader Fekri said it provided a fantastic opportunity for local people to witness the spectacle of the Olympic Torch Relay.

“This is a wonderful chance for our towns and villages to celebrate sharing the Olympic spirit and mark the countdown to the Games,” he said.

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, said he was thrilled to confirm the district’s involvement.

“This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across Calderdale to start planning now how they can be part of this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and show their support for the inspirational Torchbearers chosen to carry the Olympic Flame.”

The 70 day Olympic Torch Relay starts at Land’s End on May 19 and will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK.

The street-by-street detail of the route will be confirmed next year.

In announcing the route the LOCOG said it had realised its aspiration of taking the Olympic Torch to within an hour’s journey time of 95 per cent of the population.

It will be carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers which a background of personal achievement or contribution to communities.

Successful nominees will receive a conditional offer next month and places will be confirmed from February onwards.

LOCOG today launched two new public participation programmes.

The “Local Leaders” initiative encourages people to create their own celebrations for the Olympic Torch Relay and other key moments (www.london2012.com/localleaders) and the “Get Set for the Olympic Torch Relay” education resource is available to all schools registered with Get Set, London 2012’s official education programme.

The Olympic Torch Relay will finish its journey in London on Saturday July 21 and the Games start on July 27.

The torch and relay date back to the ancient Olympic Games in Greece, where they were important elements of cultural festivals.