CASTLEFORD, Pontefract and Ackworth have struck gold after being chosen to host the Olympic flame as it makes its 8,000-mile journey across the UK.
The towns will support the community’s nominated torch bearers as they take part in this once-in-a-life time opportunity to carry the flame through the district’s streets.
The 70-day Olympic torch relay will start at Land’s End, Cornwall, on May 19 next year – passing through the Five Towns in June – before travelling down the River Thames to the Olympic stadium on July 27.
Coun Peter Box, leader of the council, said: “I am delighted that we are on the route and have the opportunity to show the nation how much we have to offer.
“In a sports-mad district like this, the torchbearers can be assured of a very enthusiastic welcome.
“It will bring communities together for a never-to-be repeated chance to see the Olympic flame and to support the local people who have been chosen to carry the torch through the district.”
Castleford and Pontefract are among 1,000 villages, towns and cities announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to play host to the famous flame.
Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of LOCOG, said: ‘We are thrilled to confirm that Wakefield, Castleford and Pontefract will act as host locations for the Olympic flame.
“We are extending an invitation to people in the district to welcome the Olympic torch relay during its journey around the UK.
“This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across Wakefield to start planning how they can be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity and show their support as we count down to the start of the Olympic Games.”
The street by street detail of the route will be confirmed next year but Joanne Roney, chief executive of the council, said the torch is expected to arrive in June, and schools across the district will be encouraged to get involved.
Several people across the district have already been nominated for torch-bearing duties and will find out next month whether they’ve been selected.
Ackworth fundraiser, Sue Marley, was put forward for the honour for her tireless work raising money for a cystic fibrosis charity in her daughter’s memory.
Jono Lancaster – who shot to fame after appearing in several BBC documentaries about his genetic disorder, Treacher Collins Syndrome – has been nominated to carry the historic flame for his work in raising awareness of his condition.
Streethouse resident June Chivers has also been selected as a potential torch carrier for her dedication to running the Wakefield and District Fibromyalgia Support Group.