Torch campaign ignites ideas

IDEAS have started to pour in to support the EADT-backed campaign to bring the Olympic and Paralympic torch to Suffolk in the days leading to London 2012.

Craig Robinson

IDEAS have started to pour in to support the EADT-backed campaign to bring the Olympic and Paralympic torch to Suffolk in the days leading to London 2012.

The Games are expected to be worth nearly �70m to the local economy and those spearheading the county's preparations are keen to ensure it makes the most of the opportunity.

As a result the EADT - together with BBC Radio Suffolk, the county council and Suffolk Tourism Partnership - is running a campaign to persuade 2012 chiefs to bring the Olympic and Paralympic torch to the county as part of the relay prior to the opening ceremonies.


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The aim is to get people to explain why they think the iconic flame should visit Suffolk - whether it's because of its history, landscape, culture, sporting achievements or any other reason.

Olympic javelin thrower Goldie Sayers, who was born in Newmarket and finished fourth at Beijing - setting a new UK record of 65.75m - has suggested her home town's love of horse racing should give Suffolk a chance of securing some of the torch relay.

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“Suffolk would be great place to hold part of the relay as we have some of the best four legged athletes in the world trained in the county at Newmarket,” she said. “I think it would be a great link with the Olympics which is about the best athletes in the world.”

Her suggestion was echoed by West Suffolk MP Richard Spring: “Suffolk is the world headquarters of horse racing - the whole industry effectively started here in the seventeenth century. The spinoffs are considerable and it amounts to a great dealt of equine activity - there is no other place like it in the world.”

Others have suggested the torch should visit Lowestoft because in Ness Point it boasts the most easterly place in the UK.

The town's MP, Bob Blizzard, said: “I strongly support that. If the Olympic torch came to Lowestoft then it could be seen to have visited every corner of the country. I think it's important that the Games are for all communities and it would be fitting if the torch came to the most eastern point - I lend my full backing to the campaign.”

Meanwhile Mike Crowe, who played hockey for Great Britain at the 1972 Olympics in Munich and lives in Shelley, near Hadleigh, came up with a variety of reasons as to why the torch should come to Suffolk.

“Obviously we have got our history at Sutton Hoo and there are the great castles at Orford and Framlingham,” he said. “There are also some wonderful churches and in Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable the county has some of the greatest landscape artists of all time.

“Not to mention our animals such as the Suffolk Punch and Red Poll cattle. It's incredible.”

- Anyone who has ideas on why the torch should come to Suffolk can contact Adam Baker at Suffolk County Council at adam.baker@acs.suffolkcc.gov.uk or by calling 01473 260821.

WEB POLL RESULT

Q: Should the Olympic torch be brought to Suffolk on the route to the 2012 London games?

Yes: 61.4%

No: 38.6%

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