RUGBY and Dunchurch will be hosting the Olympic flame as part of the London 2012 Torch Relay.
As the famous torch makes its way to the Olympic Games next year, it will visit the town on Monday, July 2, just a few weeks before the games opening ceremony.
As one of the places visited by Pierre de Coubertin for inspiration before founding the modern Olympics, Rugby is a natural place for the torch to visit, and a fitting place to watch it make its way to the Olympic stadium in London.
Rugby and Dunchurch are two of over 1,000 villages, towns and cities announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) through which the Olympic Flame will be carried by Torchbearers during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for Culture and Economy said: “We have been working hard to make sure that LOCOG understood the significance that Rugby plays in the Olympic story and I’m delighted that they have chosen to bring the torch here. Pierre de Coubertin wrote of the inspiration given him by the legendary headmaster Mr Arnold, and his love for Rugby football led to its inclusion in the modern Olympics until after his death in 1937.
“Dunchurch is also significant in the history of our country, being the rendezvous point for the failed gunpowder plotters, and will provide a picturesque location to see the torch pass by.”
“The visit of the torch on 2 July next year will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be involved in the Olympics, and we will be doing everything we can to encourage schools and businesses in the borough to allow their staff and pupils to come and see it.
“Although we don’t yet know who will be selected to be torchbearers, we do know that their stories will themselves be inspiring and it would be great if the whole of the borough came out to support them.”
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: “We are thrilled to confirm that Rugby and Dunchurch will act as host locations for the Olympic Flame, extending an invitation to people in the borough of Rugby 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 Rugby to start planning how they can be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity and show their support for the inspirational Torchbearers chosen to carry the Olympic Flame as we count down to the start of the Olympic Games.”
David Moorcroft, West Midlands for 2012 Chair said: “What fantastic news for the residents of Rugby Borough that they will have their opportunity to welcome the Olympic Flame on 2 July. We encourage communities to start thinking now about how they will celebrate as the Olympic Torch Relay, a once in a lifetime experience for many of us, signals the approach of the London 2012 Olympic Games.”
The 70 day Olympic Torch Relay will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012. On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to a place near them.
Individuals, schools and businesses can sign up to find out more about the Olympic Torch relay and how they can get involved at www.rugby.gov.uk/2012Olympics, by calling into the Visitor Centre, or by phoning the centre on (01788) 533217.