Town GETS its own olympic torch rally

Derek Howarth, Andy Smith and Laura Riches
Derek Howarth, Andy Smith and Laura Riches

THE Olympic Torch will travel through Leigh next Monday.

It’s not an official torch route but part of an Olympic Celebration Week at Leigh Sports Village (LSV) which will give residents who missed the official procession at the end of last month the chance to get a flavour of the event. Olympic torch bearers Andy Smith (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust), Derek Howarth and Laura Riches (both Leigh Harriers Athletics Club) will carry one of the official torches from Leigh Town Hall at approximately noon on Monday June 25 to Leigh Harriers Athletics Stadium at the Sports Village.

Laura is due to run with the torch through Whitefield on June 23 and Derek through Stockport on June 24. But Andy has already had the honour of carrying the Olympic flame when he ran through Abram on May 31.

He said: “It was great to see all the people come out and celebrate the torch relay. I spoke to a few people and they said it was a strange feeling with it being such a unique event. I wasn’t nervous until I stepped off the bus and saw the street lined with people.”

Now Andy is looking forward to carrying his Olympic torch again, seeing it as a great occasion for Leigh with the flame having not travelled through the town as part of the national relay.

He added: “Leigh Sports Village’s Olympic Celebration Week will be a brilliant occasion for the local community.

“The torch relay, in particular, will be special with the flame not having travelled through Leigh as part of the national route.

“With the history of athletics in Leigh the whole event will be a great occasion and I hope as many people as possible either take part or come down and support the participants.”

The week of activities includes competitions, taster sessions, fitness classes and spectator opportunities. The Voluntary Sports Clubs particularly Leigh Harriers and Tri Team Wigan in partnership with WLCT, Leigh Sports Village Company and the Wigan School Sports Partnership (East and West) are providing fun for all the family.

Chris Essex-Crosby, Community Sports Development Manager at Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust is also urging the local community to get involved whether as a participant, volunteer or spectator.

For further details and to see how to take part visit www.leighsportsvillage.co.uk, www.facebook.com/leighsportsvillage or call Chris Essex-Crosby at Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust on 01942 404983.