First to glimpse Olympic Torch

Olympic Stadium

Photo: London 2012

Tower Hamlets is set to be the first borough in London to see the Olympic Torch, as it travels on a seventy day tour of the UK.

Residents are being encouraged to nominate people to carry the torch, as organisers search the length and breadth of the UK for 8,000 people to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay.

The relay will start at Lands End on 19th May 2012, and will arrive in Tower Hamlets on the evening of Friday 20th July 2012. It will then pass through Olympic host boroughs Greenwich, Hackney, Newham and Waltham Forest, before visiting every other London Borough. The relay is due to arrive at the Olympic Stadium on 27th July 2012.

Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said of the announcement:

“It gives everybody in the borough the chance to get involved in the excitement surrounding London 2012. And it’s a great opportunity for us to highlight the unique character of Tower Hamlets – showcasing the borough to the world.”

Earlier this year Mayor Rahman and Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, negotiated an agreement to stimulate employment, business, education and culture in the area. Sebastian Coe said:

“I’m proud to be working with this Host Borough to these four key areas, so the Borough can benefit from the staging of the greatest show on earth right on their doorstep. We are committed to helping residents and businesses maximise the benefits from these commercial, employment, educational and cultural opportunities.”

The agreement includes plans to give Tower Hamlets’ residents access to employment opportunities 72 hours before being advertised to surrounding boroughs. School children will also get the chance to take part in test events, ceremony rehearsals, and may be eligible for free tickets to the games.

Tower Hamlets Council is looking for “truly inspirational” residents to carry the torch. Nominations can be made on the London 2012 website and the deadline is June 29th 2011. Stars including Tinchy Stryder are promoting the nomination process.

Hackney resident and arctic adventurer, Dwayne Fields,  is also hoping for an opportunity to carry the flame.

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