Olympic excitement ignited in Alnwick

LLoyds Community Ambassador Catherine Hine, Riger Styring and Emma Pringle with the Olympic torch in Alnwick Market Place.
LLoyds Community Ambassador Catherine Hine, Riger Styring and Emma Pringle with the Olympic torch in Alnwick Market Place.

ALNWICK was gripped by Olympic fever yesterday as an interactive roadshow rolled into town.

The Lloyds TSB London 2012 Olympic Torch Tour brought the excitement of next year’s torch relay to the area.

Visitors had the chance to have their photo taken with the prototype Olympic torch and learn about the history of the relay.

People could also nominate somebody who has made a difference in the community to carry the Olympic flame in the relay, which is scheduled to visit Alnwick on June 14 as part of its epic journey across the UK.

Catherine Hine, Lloyds TSB community ambassador for Alnwick, said: “The roadshow has been well received, with people from schools through to pensioners coming along.

“The roadshow was about letting people know that they have the opportunity to carry the flame and making sure that the Olympic Games is not just about London but also here in the North East and in Alnwick.”

Councillor Roger Styring, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, and Olympic hopeful and Lloyds TSB Local Hero Emma Pringle, also attended the roadshow, which was held in Alnwick Market Place as part of its tour around the UK this summer.

Coun Styring said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to put Northumberland and its residents on the national and international stage and play a key role in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to come forward during the nomination process and I would encourage anybody who knows someone outstanding and inspirational to nominate them now to carry the Olympic torch.

“Nominees don’t necessarily have to come from a sporting background.

“They could be a community hero, a talented performer or someone who has triumphed over adversity.”

Triple-jumper Emma, 19, from Alnwick, said it will be a great opportunity for the town to host the torch as part of the relay.

She has nominated her mum Jacqui, who is also her coach, to be a torchbearer.

The roadshow proved a hit with people who attended.

Conor Chambers, Liam Jefferson and Jake Morrison, all 16 and from Alnwick, had their picture taken with the torch.

Conor said: “All around the world the Olympics is famous and we have got it coming to our country, which is amazing.

“It is great that the torch is coming to our town and it has been great to see it today.”

The torch relay will be a 70-day celebration, starting in the UK in May next year, travelling thousands of miles and bringing the London 2012 Games to hundreds of communities across the UK.

Alnwick will be the first place in the North East to receive the flame and the town will host a high-profile evening celebration event for the public.

Torchbearer nominations can be made online via www.lloydstsb.com/carrytheflame until September 12 this year.