Sunderland pupils complete their own Olympic torch relay

Staff and pupils at Hetton School setting off on the first leg of the three day schools Olympic torch relay on Monday morning. First to carry the torch is teacher Jean Keep.
Staff and pupils at Hetton School setting off on the first leg of the three day schools Olympic torch relay on Monday morning. First to carry the torch is teacher Jean Keep.
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CHILDREN on Wearside got fired up for the London Olympics with their own torch relay.

The youngsters kicked off the countdown to the arrival of the official flame in Sunderland with the mini procession.

Over the course of three days, the pupils are carrying their own torch around Wearside, passing it from school to school.

The aim of the Sunderland Schools’ Torch Relay is to give the 2012 London Games a Wearside feel. The 72-hour event will culminate in a run along the Seaburn seafront tomorrow.

The proceedings got under way yesterday, when staff and children from Hetton School set off with their torch and headed for Houghton Kepier Sports School.

From there, the young people went to St Robert of Newminster RC School, in Washington, then to Oxclose Community School, Washington School, Biddick School and ended at Farringdon Community Sports College in Sunderland.

Carolyn Ravera, director of PE at Hetton School, said: “Everything went really well. We had 13 runners from the school and they made good time on the route. The weather stayed dry and everyone had a really good time.”

Today, the torches will be passed from Farringdon to The Venerable Bede CE School, to Southmoor, St Aidan’s RC, St Anthony’s RC, Thornhill, Sandhill View and then to Academy 360.

Tomorrow, the students will take the torch from Academy 360 to Castle View Academy, then on to Red House Academy and finally to Monkwearmouth School.

From there, the students will head to the seafront to meet up with representatives from all the secondary schools to run the torches along the beach.

As well as preparing for the main relay, all the secondary schools have organised community relays with primary and special schools in their areas.

Howard Kemp, headteacher at Farringdon Community Sports College, took on the marathon task of organising the relay because of his desire to make sure Sunderland’s children felt involved in the Olympic Games.

The £8,800 funding for the Sunderland Schools’ Torch Relay was provided by LOCOG, London Organising Committee for Olympic Games.