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Monday, 14 July 2014

Aiming for Olympic glory

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OLYMPIC MASTERCLASS Copeland Council leader Elaine Woodburn is shown how to use a bow on the harbour after the news that the Olympic torch is to pass through Whitehaven on its trip around the country MIKE McKENZIE

WHITEHAVEN is the Copeland town chosen to play its part in the Olympic torch journey through Cumbria.

To mark the historic event on June 21 Copeland Council is planning a series of colourful events featuring what the local authority describes as “an amazing sports and culture show.”

Hugh Branney, the council’s portfolio holder for leisure, culture and youth, says: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are absolutely delighted that the Olympic torch will travel through our borough on its way to the capital. We just can’t wait to get the Olympic year off to a spectacular start”.

“The Games offer us amazing opportunities to engage with our residents and do lots of things that involve creativity, learning, volunteering, getting fit and simply fun. I hope people will get involved and enjoy what’s going on across the borough.

“On top of all this we should be able to showcase our beautiful area to the world. It’s an exciting honour which gives us a platform from which to launch sports and community related projects and activities.”

The sports and culture show will take place between April and July and for good measure there will be a free weekend of sports on July 21-22 offering established sports to everyone and the chance to try new ones.

Chairman of North Country Leisure Copeland Peter Johnstone enthused: “It’s the aim of NCL to help provide the best possible facilities for the people of Copeland to achieve their aims in health and fitness. I’m sure the Olympic torch will inspire local people to take part in all the healthy, enjoyable sports activities in our area.”

Hundreds of people are expected to line the streets of Whitehaven to see the torch being carried round the town by inspirational people chosen by the community.

Not surprisingly on the short list already is Alan Wills, the Frizington-based archer who represented Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Copeland Council leader Elaine Woodburn said: “A lot of people will have watched Olympic events on TV only, so it will be amazing to be part of it all – absolutely fantastic.”

“The torch arrives in Cumbria on Wednesday June 20 visiting Brough, Appleby, Penrith and Carlisle. Next day it leaves Carlisle on route to Wigton, Aspatria, Maryport, Flimby, Workington, Whitehaven, Cockermouth, Keswick, Grasmere, Ambleside and then on to Bowness.

Pupils from St Mary’s primary school, Kells, joined Alan Wills to celebrate Whitehaven’s winning selection for the torch relay.

Copeland Council has launched its own Olympic Facebook page to keep people up to date with everything going on in the borough.

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