Councils shine a light on Olympic flame opportunity

With less than one year to go until the Olympic Flame comes through Northern Ireland during its journey along the UK wide Olympic Torch Relay, Ballymoney Borough Council and Moyle District Council are calling on people from across north Antrim to nominate inspirational members of their community to carry the Flame during its 70 day journey.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) recently confirmed that the Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers during the Relay, with 90% of the places being made available to the public.

The LOCOG ‘Moment to Shine’ campaign, which runs until 29 June 2011, is calling on people from across Northern Ireland to help find inspirational members of the public who have gone beyond their personal best for consideration as Torchbearers.

The nomination portal at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay asks nominators for up to 150 words on why their nominee should carry the Olympic Flame. Judging panels will be set up in each Nation and Region of the UK to select the Torchbearers for their area.

In a joint statement the councils said: “Giving the people of north Antrim the chance to help shape the Olympic Torch Relay and play a key role in marking the start of the Olympic Games is an incredible opportunity.

“We know that there are many people here who deserve recognition for their contribution to life in the north Antrim area. We urge people to think about who might deserve this opportunity and nominate them to be a Torchbearer.

“This is an opportunity to be part of a once in a lifetime event.”

Young people in particular from across Northern Ireland are encouraged to get involved, with half of the total number of Torchbearer places expected to go to people aged between 12 and 24 years of age who are considered leading lights in their local communities.

The first Olympic Torch Relay route announcement in May 2011 revealed the locations of the Olympic Torch Relay’s evening celebrations in Northern Ireland.

A second, more detailed route announcement will be made later this year, providing information on the other cities, towns, villages and places of outstanding natural beauty, sports venues and community hubs the Olympic Flame will visit on each day of the Torch Relay in Northern Ireland.

It is LOCOG’s aim that 95% of the population will be within a one hour journey time of Relay and that Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame as close to home as possible.

The Olympic Flame will travel for approximately 12 hours each day, concluding on 66 of the 70 days with an exciting early evening celebration event that will enable thousands of people each evening to enjoy a variety of entertainment and shows staged by LOCOG and the three Presenting Partners with the support of the host Local Authority.

Nominations through the LOCOG campaign are open until 11.59pm on 29 June 2011 at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay