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Flintshire’s Olympic torch relay ends 176 day journey

AFTER a 176-day journey Flintshire’s own Olympic torch relay has come to an end.

Around 15,000 pupils across the county had the opportunity to carry the torch from their school to a neighbouring one.

The relay, which lasted a full school year, ended as the torch crossed the finish line at the Flintshire Festival of Youth Sport held at Deeside College last Wednesday.

The Flintshire Olympic torch, which was designed and created by Airbus apprentices at Deeside College, travelled to every infant, primary, secondary and specialist school in the county via a means of physical activity to promote the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and its values amongst local youngsters.

Pupils could either walk, jog or cycle the torch from school to school– with assistance provided by teachers, walk leaders, local police and Sport Flintshire – en route to the festival finale, which itself attracted more than 2,000 youngsters.

Flintshire’s Platinum Young Ambassador, Steve Thomas, who is chairman of Wales’ Young Ambassador Steering Group for Wales, organised the project.

He said: “We have used the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to encourage more young people in Flintshire to take up sport and physical activity. Getting every child hooked on sport is one of the key aspirations of Sport Wales and the impact that the torch relay has had amongst pupils, schools and communities has definitely helped us go one step closer to achieving this aspiration in Flintshire.

“The torch relay has helped build excitement amongst young people towards London 2012 and due to the project’s success I hope we can organise similar projects in the build up to other major sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games in 2014.”

In preparation of gaining possession of the torch, each school had to sign up to the London 2012 ‘Get Set’ network, and register for Lloyds TSB National School Sports Week to access educational resources to complete different Olympic themed tasks.

Tasks included organising Olympic themed sports days, PE sessions, playground activities and classroom-based sessions, as well as designing Olympic themed posters, flags and banners for their journeys.

Once the school was in possession of the torch, each pupil engaged in Flintshire’s ‘2012 Olympic Pledge’. This pledge required every pupil to participate in a minimum of 20 minutes and 12 seconds of physical activity or sport every day in the build up to the 2012 games.

Sport Wales regional manager, Graham Williams, said: “This is exactly what we want to see as an Olympic ‘legacy’ for sport in Wales. We have a unique opportunity to harness the inspirational power of having the 2012 London Games here on home soil.

“We hope that the thousands of youngsters involved in this relay will now be hooked on sport for life and will continue to enjoy sport at school and within a community club environment.”