‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ day as Olympic flame to arrive in Lowestoft

THE Olympic Flame is set to shine brightly in Waveney next summer.

In a major boost to the district, Lowestoft, Southwold, Wrentham and Reydon have all been included on the Olympic torch's 70-day nationwide journey in the build up to the 2012 games in London next July.

In each of the communities, torch-bearers will carry the flame for 300m – passing homes and businesses and providing what organisers are describing as 'once-in-a-lifetime' occasion for local people.

The announcement was made on Monday as details of the 1,000 locations on the torch route were revealed by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

The flame will arrive in Lowestoft on Thursday, July 5, before heading to Wrentham, Reydon, and Southwold, and then south to Kelsale, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh, Wickham Market, Ufford, Melton, Woodbridge, Felixstowe, and Ipswich. The following day it will pass through Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket.

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Waveney MP Peter Aldous urged people to start planning events to welcome the torch.

'I am delighted that we will play our part in this historic occasion and this will be a fantastic opportunity for the whole community to come together to celebrate the countdown to the Olympic Games,' he said. 'I am urging everyone in Waveney to start thinking about the ways that we welcome the Olympic Flame in a truly local way.

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'We will be inviting neighbouring communities to join us in these celebrations and to cheer on the inspirational individuals from our area that will carry the Olympic Torch through our streets.'

Colin Law, leader of Waveney District Council, added: 'The 2012 Olympics will be one of the greatest events this country has ever seen and I am filled with the most enormous pride to know that the route of the Olympic torch will pass through Waveney. It is the very greatest honour and playing a part in history will mean a huge amount to the communities of this district.'

The 70-day torch relay is due to start at Land's End, Cornwall, on May 19 and the flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK, giving thousands of people a chance to it first hand. Leaving Norwich on the morning of July 5, the torch will pass through Acle, Filby and Great Yarmouth before it reaches Lowestoft.

On the final day of the relay, the flame will be carried down the River Thames as it makes its way to the Olympic Stadium on July 27 for the lighting of the cauldron at the games' official opening ceremony.

Kathy Gosling, county councillor for Pakefield and Suffolk's portfolio holder for sport, culture, diversity, health and wellbeing, said: 'I really hope that everyone sees just how special a moment we will get to experience next year.

'As the torch passes through our large urban towns and our small rural villages, it will be an opportunity for people in Suffolk to come together and demonstrate to the world what a wonderful place our county is.

'I'm particularly thrilled that everyone in Suffolk lives within 30 minutes of the torch's planned route, which is significantly better than the aspirations of the torch relay organisers.

'My message to everyone is to come and be part of this truly unique opportunity. It doesn't matter if you're young, old, sporty, arty or just curious. This is about Suffolk welcoming the flame and sharing the experience together.'

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