Sandwell on 2012 Olympic Torch Relay route
Published on 7th November 2011
Thousands of Sandwell people will get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Olympic Flame carried through the borough next year on its way to the London 2012 Games, it was announced today (Monday 7 November).
Local people will be able to share in the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay and cheer on torchbearers as they pass through Oldbury, West Bromwich and Smethwick on Saturday 30 June 2012.
Community leaders in Sandwell were today celebrating the news as a "major coup" for the borough.
And to mark the occasion, they are this morning joining with borough sports stars, including charity marathon runner Blind Dave Heeley and future Paralympic hopeful Ella Booker, school children and a dhol drummer at the Olympic-supported AdiZone outdoor gym in Victoria Park, Smethwick.
Sandwell town crier Adrian Holmes will be announcing the towns on the route.
Pupils from Victoria Park Primary - named as an outstanding school by Ofsted just two weeks ago - will be taking part in activities put on by Sandwell Leisure Trust and Sandwell's 5 x 30 Time to Get Active programme.
Welcoming today's news, Sandwell Council leader Councillor Darren Cooper said it was a major coup for Sandwell.
He said: "The Olympic Torch Relay coming to Sandwell will be a wonderful occasion for everyone in our community to join together and celebrate the Olympics being in this country.
"This fantastic news is a clear sign from the Olympic Committee that the 2012 Games will benefit places like Sandwell.
"Sandwell is already benefiting from two new outdoor gyms - called AdiZones - at Victoria Park, Smethwick, and Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich. These were partly funded by adidas in their role as an official Olympic sponsor.
"We have a real sporting heritage in Sandwell and a wealth of home-grown sporting talent that will be pushing to be Olympians in 2012 and beyond."
Oldbury-based triathlete Jodie Stimpson is hoping to represent Great Britain in the 2012 Games and trains at Sandwell Leisure Trust-run Langley Swimming Centre.
She said: "I'm really looking forward to the challenge of getting to the Games and onto the start line. This would be my first Olympics and it's made even more special by being held in London.
"It's amazing to hear that the Olympic Torch will be coming through my home town. This will hopefully attract more attention to the sport of triathlon and to sport in general in Sandwell."
Oldbury, West Bromwich and Smethwick are three 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 pass.
The Flame is 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 Sandwell to devise the route.
The 70-day Olympic Torch Relay, will start at Land's End, Cornwall, on the morning of 19 May 2012.
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. In fact, over 95 per cent 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.
On the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay, it is LOCOG's intention that the Olympic Flame will travel down the River Thames as it makes its way to the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
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 this year, successful nominees will be contacted with a conditional offer and final torchbearer places will start to be confirmed from February onwards.
You can also find out more news from LOCOG today and read what LOCOG chair Sebastian Coe and West Midlands for 2012 Chair David Moorcroft have to say about the Olympic Torch coming to Sandwell.