The Atherton Olympics

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OLYMPIC fever will once again come to Atherton next week, when schoolchildren stage their very own torch procession through the streets.

Around 140 pupils from 10 local primary schools will carry Olympic torches and flags along closed-off roads on their way to the Town Sports Athletics event, organised by the Atherton Primary Sports Association (APSA), next Thursday, June 21.

It will be a packed day of sport as the athletics will be followed in the afternoon by APSA’s first Town Sports Convention, with community clubs and professional organisations meeting in the school hall to talk to adults and youngsters alike.

The procession will make its way from the parish church in Atherton down the top part of Market Street, along Crab Tree Lane past Tesco and cross Hamilton Street, all of which will be closed to traffic.

The torch route will then continue along the pavement at Wardour Street to Parklee Community School where the athletics will take place.

Parts of Market Street, Crab Tree Lane and the Hamilton Street Roundabout will be closed for around 10 to 15 minutes at 9.30am to allow the youngsters to walk the route.

The closures were agreed after Parklee’s Deputy Head and APSA’s lead teacher Mark Grogan met representatives from Wigan Council and walked the route.

The council will provide ‘Road Closed’ signs and Coun Susan Loudon is arranging for volunteer marshals to stand along the route, although the schools are also asking for helpers who can marshal the event.

The athletics will be followed by the Sports Convention in Parklee’s school hall, which will allow families to find out more about everything from football to cycle speedway and will run from 2pm to 7pm.

Organisations which have signed up for the event include Wigan Athletic, Lancashire Cricket Club and Tyldesley Swimming and Water Polo Club.