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Olympic torch relay route through Lancashire revealed
CELEBRATING From left, Craig Fallon and Coun Kate Hollern with Team GB Judo team members Karina Bryant and Nathan Burns
THE official route for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay has been revealed - and it will pass through several Lancashire towns.
The Olympic torch will set off from Land’s End on May 19 and make its way across the length and breadth of Britain before arriving in London on July 27.
On June 1, the journey from Bolton to Liverpool will pass through Lancashire, including Chorley, Euxton, Croston, Burscough, Ormskirk and Southport.
On June 22, the torch will pass through Carnforth, Bolton-le-Sands, Morecambe, Lancaster, Garstang, Fleetwood before arriving at Blackpool.
The next day, on the Blackpool to Manchester leg, it will travel through Lytham St Annes, Warton, Preston, Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Crawshawbooth and Rawtenstall.
Chairman of Lancashire County Council, Geoffrey Roper, said: "I am delighted Lancashire has been chosen for the Torch Relay, which will be seen by people around the world.
"The people of Lancashire are thrilled that as the Torch Relay travels around the world it will pass through our historic county of Lancashire and people are sure to turn out along the route to cheer it on its way."
To mark the announcement, Blackburn Town Hall will be lit up in the Olympic colours throughout this week.
Yesterday, leader of the council Kate Hollern attended an Olympic-themed event at Audley Sports Centre where she met three would-be Olympians.
The members of the Great Britain judo squad were at the centre to hold a junior training session and inspire young people to be at the top of their game.
The athletes included Blackburn-born Nathan Burns, world champion Craig Fallon and five-times world silver medallist Karina Bryant.
Coun Hollern said: “It is fantastic news that we have are going to be right at the centre of one of the most important sporting events in the world.
“We are very lucky in this borough to have so many talented sporting people so it is fitting that we should get the opportunity to celebrate the games in this way.
“I hope that that as many residents as possible get involved in the Olympics activities we have planned as I’d like the legacy of the games to continue and ensure we produce many more world class athletes.”
Leader of Hyndburn Borough Council Coun Miles Parkinson, said: “It’s going to be a year of celebrations for us with the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“We’re very excited to have the Olympic torch relay coming through Accrington.
"The council has already started making plans and hopes to work with sports groups and Accrington Stanley to host a mini Olympics for the borough.”
Coun Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Borough Council, said: “It’s terrific news for the borough.
“In the North West we are a long way from London, so this will get a lot more people involved and interested in the Olympics.”
Mayor of Burnley, Coun David Heginbotham, said it was a ‘massive honour’ for the town.
He said: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a sports fan or not, this is a great boost for our town and I’m sure people will turn out in their thousands to see the Olympic Torch make its way through our borough.
Sebastian Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: "This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across Lancashire 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."