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The legacy of the Olympic Torch

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 04, 2014

  • Burton Olympic torch relay - Final Leg run by Ian Leech

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TWO years on from when the Olympic Torch was paraded through Burton, the legacy from the event continues to make an impact in the area.

On June 30, 2012, thousands of people crammed onto pavements across the town cheering and supporting the group of 15 torchbearers as the flame made its way from Jackson Avenue on one side of town to Nicholson Way on the other.

Since that day, hundreds of thousands of pounds have been poured into creating an Olympic legacy in the town, and also across the water in South Derbyshire.

This has seen visits to council-run leisure facilities rocket, and more people than ever taking part in sports such as running and cycling.

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Mike Lawrence, cabinet member for children, communities and localism at Staffordshire County Council, said: “If there is one outcome from this Olympics it is that all age groups have been inspired.

“The Games have been tremendously positive, and children will now recognise that their dreams can become reality.”

Burton MP Andrew Griffiths said: “We’re already lucky in Burton that so many schools put so much emphasis on competitive sports.

“However, the ‘Olympomania’ caused by London 2012 was the perfect opportunity to build on that.”

Neil Brown, sports development team leader at East Staffordshire Borough Council, said: “We have partnerships with British Cycling, Run England and Burton Albion Community Trust.

“Those partnerships mean there are a variety of activities available for anyone to take part in sport and physical activity.”

The borough council invested heavily in sites such as the Meadowside Leisure Centre and Shobnall’s athletics track after news that the torch would come through the area broke.

Branston charity campaigner Ian Leech took hold of the flame as it got set to exit the town down Wellington Road.

He said: ““It was absolutely amazing.

“So many came out to support the torchbearers.

“It was incredible.

“I don’t think I knew what to expect really, but what I did see was excellent.”

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