Yesterday our little town on the North East coast of England was privileged to host the 2012 London Olympic Torch Relay as it makes its way around the UK. This is a fantastic was of generating interest in the Olympic Games and is a great way of raising peoples aspirations, especially the younger ones – some of whom will no doubt be future Olympians themselves.
Hartlepool Borough Council had organised the festivities which included a number of live bands etc… at the Maritime Experience on the Marina. This was a huge success with claims of up to 23,000 people, (including 6,000 at the Marina) lining the torch route through the town. This support is fantastic and shows how important sport is to everyone – even those that don’t take part themselves.
It was also great that the inspire athletes were all invited as VIP’s to the event, they were introduced on stage by the Hartlepool Mayor, Mr Stuart Drummond who gave a brief overview of each athletes competition successes – the highlight obviously being Savanna Marshall who is a member of the 2012 GB Olympic Team and favourite for Women’s Boxing. Our club also had two of it’s own represented there, with Sensei Amy and Jasmin who are both part of the inspire program.
For those of you that don’t know, the inspire program is a photography exhibition of successful female athletes from a variety of sports which include Regional, National, European, International and Olympic medal winners. The exhibition will be featured in the Hartlepool Art Gallery and across all the local schools, all of which will help ‘inspire’ more girls/women into sport.
There were opportunities to get some iconic photos too, including with a 1948 London Olympic Torch too!
Thank you to all the organisers, the torch bearers and the crowds for contributing to the electric atmosphere…