Ballantrae Primary gets ready to welcome the torch
Thousands of South Ayrshire residents will see the Olympic Torch being carried right outside their front door as the London 2012 organisers revealed today (19 March), with the village of Ballantrae becoming the first in Ayrshire to welcome the Olympic Torch Relay on Friday 8 June.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has announced details of every South Ayrshire street along which the Torch will be carried – with Main Street in Ballantrae taking in the first stretch.
Marking the first full day of the Scottish leg of the Olympic Flame's historical 70-day, 8,000-mile journey around the UK, the Torch Relay will arrive in South Ayrshire at Ballantrae at 7.06am on Friday 8 June. A number of local heroes will each carry the Torch for 300 metres as it travels along the streets of Ballantrae, Girvan, Turnberry, Maidens, Kirkoswald, Maybole, Alloway and Ayr.
Thousands of people will get a close range view of the London 2012 Olympic Torch as it passes by their street, local shops and schools on its epic journey to London where the Games will open on 27 July.
The pupils of Ballantrae Primary will be among the very first in Scotland to welcome the Olympic Flame. Olympic fever struck the village earlier today when Toni McIntosh from Ayr and Chris Price from Troon – two of South Ayrshire's Olympic Torchbearers – dropped in to the school to confirm that the Olympic Torch Relay will pass by the primary, much to the pupils' delight:
- Sarah Cosslett (11) said: "This is an historic event and we are very lucky to be part of it."
- "It's amazing that we'll get the chance to experience the torch in Ballantrae", said Douglas Middleton (11).
- "A once in a lifetime chance", added Jay Steans (11).
- "We're really lucky to be seeing the torch – even though it's here very early, I'll definitely be going to see it!", said Lucy Cosslett (10).
- Jack Lang (11) added: "It's really cool the torch is coming to Ballantrae as it's important that the torch is coming from Greece to London."
- Ibby Kelly said: "I'm really excited to see it."
- Malcolm Boag (10) summed it up easily: "Happy!"
Toni, who has enjoyed running as a sport for 20 years and has run at Scottish international level, will be carrying the Torch in Turnberry, said: "The Olympic Torch symbolises all that is good about the Games and I'm really privileged to be involved in spreading these positive values and hope that it will encourage others to give a little bit more in pursuit of their dreams."
Chris, who is a successful Modern Apprentice with South Ayrshire Council and a member of a local running team, will be carrying the Torch in Ballantrae – the first torchbearer in South Ayrshire. He said: "It's a great honour to be involved in the Olympic Torch Relay and I'm really pleased to have been selected. I hope my being involved inspires other people to see that you can overcome challenges and achieve your goals. It's going to be a great day."
Once it leaves Ballantrae, the Torch will be carried through Girvan, Turnberry, Maidens and Kirkoswald, passing Carrick Academy in Maybole, before travelling by the world renowned Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, then into Ayr.
Local communities are being encouraged to line the streets on the morning of 8 June to applaud the efforts of the area's Torchbearers, rousing support for the Olympic Torch Relay.
Memorable moments will be created as the Torch, and its large vehicle convoy, will spend almost three-and-a-half hours travelling through the stunning South Ayrshire countryside, passing some of its breathtaking coastline, before taking in our world famous Burns heritage.
Welcoming the news that the Olympic Torch will pass by some of South Ayrshire's landmarks, Harry Garland, South Ayrshire Council's Executive Director of Children and Community, said: "Now the people know the route the Olympic Torch will be carried along and the first of South Ayrshire's Torchbearers, they can start planning how they might celebrate and make it South Ayrshire's moment to shine. This is a great opportunity to get involved in a real once in a lifetime moment and I have no doubt our communities will give the Torch a warm South Ayrshire welcome."
Each of South Ayrshire's Torchbearers was nominated by members of the public for their achievements and contribution to the community – 8,000 Torchbearers, who will wear white and gold uniforms designed by adidas, were selected throughout Great Britain to take part in this momentous journey. LOCOG has devised the Torch route in a bid to take the Olympic Flame to within ten miles of more than 95% of the population.
Further information on the Olympics Torch Relay in South Ayrshire – including the street-by-street details and timings is available to view.