Olympic fever hits Sunderland as students stage torch relay
Olympic fever hit the city as youngsters held their own torch relay across Sunderland.
Secondary schools on Wearside joined in the relay with torches going from school to school.
The relay was the brainchild of Howard Kemp, headteacher at Farringdon Community Academy, who wanted to bring together the young people of the city in the spirit of the Olympic Games.
Over the course of the day pupils representing almost all of the city’s secondary schools donned their running shoes and took to the streets.
The last leg of the relay involved pupils running from Monkwearmouth School along the seafront at Seaburn.
Each of the schools created their own Olympic torches which will be displayed in the school.
Celebrating the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio, the race was a way of bringing the spirit of the games to Sunderland.
Four years ago Mr Kemp was the organiser of a three-day school relay, which also involved all of the city’s primary schools and special schools, to celebrate London 2012.
This year the secondary students ran the relay on one day with two routes running at the same time, using the Wearside Cycle map as a planner.
Pupils at each school organised welcoming committees to cheer the runners on.
Mr Kemp said: “When I thought back to four years ago, it was the biggest single partnership event we have ever done with all of the schools involved and was very successful. I just thought it would be good to do it again for the Olympics.”
He said the event was a way of promoting health and fitness, creativity and the values of the Olympic Games.
Relay one took place from St Robert of Newminster to Oxclose Academy, then onto Washington School, to Biddick Academy and across to Farringdon Community Academy.
The second relay involved students leaving Farringdon Community Academy earlier in the day and heading to The Venerable Bede CE Academy, on to St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy, Thornhill School, Sandhill View Academy, Grindon Hall Christian School, Castle View Enterprise Academy, Red House Academy and finally to Monkwearmouth Academy where the pupils will run along the seafront towards Whitburn.