Towns to welcome Olympic flame

Hambleton and Richmondshire residents are being urged to take to the streets to welcome the Olympic torch as it travels through the districts next June.

The flame will journey through Thirsk, Northallerton, Bedale, Aysgarth, Leyburn and Richmond on June 20 as part of its 8,000 mile journey around the UK.

The two district councils have already begun drawing up plans to celebrate the torch passing through the area and will work with local organisations and community groups to give it a momentus trip through North Yorkshire.

Local people will be encouraged to line the streets as the torch passes by and there will be demonstrations of sporting events at each venue. Local organisations will be invited to join a parade to follow the torch on its journey and the RAF and Army are in discussions on how they can get involved.

Meetings in each venue will be held before the end of the year when community groups, parish councils and sports organisations will be invited to suggest celebratory ideas.

And North Yorkshire Sport, the community sports partnership, is working with the authorities to bring sports event to each location – for local people to both watch and take part in.

The six towns are amongst more than 1,000 villages, towns and cities along the flame route announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) this week.

The torch will be carried around the country by a team of torchbearers on a route designed to take it within an hour’s journey of 95 per cent of the population.

“Bringing the torch to our area gives our residents and members a unique chance to see the Olympic Flame and witness the spectacle of the Olympic Torch Relay,” said Chief Executive for Hambleton and Richmondshire District Councils, Peter Simpson.

“We are planning community celebrations across the two districts to share in the Olympic spirit and mark the countdown to the start of the Games.And we hope it will leave a lasting legacy inspiring people young and old to take part in sport and recognise the benefits they can get from it.

“This is going to be an exciting day for Hambleton and Richmondshire we hope people embrace the occasion and welcome not just the iconic torch but the local torchbearers who will see it safely through the districts.”

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, added: “We are thrilled to confirm that Thirsk, Northallerton, Bedale, Aysgarth, Leyburn and Richmond will act as host locations for the Olympic Flame. This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across Hambleton and Richmondshire 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.”