That the Olympic torch is coming through the Borders on June 14 next year is extremely good news for all Borderers.
It is obviously not possible for the torch to go through every town and community in the UK but, as London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) chair Lord Coe highlighted, the Olympic Torch Relay will take the 2012 Games to almost every corner of the UK, with the flame travelling to within an hour’s journey of 95 per cent of the population.
Two new public participation programmes have also been launched by LOCOG to coincide with the route announcement.
The Local Leaders initiative is an invitation to people across the UK who “get stuff done” and encourages them to bring the Games into their community, creating celebrations for the Olympic Torch Relay and other key moments during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Secondly, a Get Set for the Olympic Torch Relay education pack is being made available to schools. It will provide them with resources to aid learning around the history of Olympic Torch Relays and the design of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
The torch will be carried through the Borders by local people. The torchbearers’ names and the street-by-street detail of the route will be confirmed from February 2012.
I therefore would like to encourage Borderers, both young and old, fit and not so fit, to join in the celebrations on June 14 and also in the run-up to the July Olympic Games.
The Olympics, and especially the Olympic torch route through the Borders, gives us a unique opportunity to showcase our people, towns and communities to many, many countries. So let us enthusiastically embrace this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the Olympics locally and to show the best of the Borders and its people to the world.
Councillor Graham Garvie
(Scottish Borders Council executive member for sport, culture and community learning)