Theresa May has called for the Olympic torch to travel through Maidenhead as part of the nationwide torch relay in advance of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Maidenhead was not listed as one of the overnight stops for the relay when the route was announced earlier in the year, but the full details are still being considered by the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) and additional stops will be announced later in the year. Theresa has urged the Committee to consider bringing the route through Maidenhead.
In a letter to the LOCOG Chief Executive, Theresa highlighted the local area’s link to the Games through its close proximity to Dorney Lake, where the rowing events will be held. As a result, Maidenhead is likely to be a key transport hub with many visitors coming to the town. Theresa also highlighted the local area’s reputation as a provider of high-quality sporting facilities, such as the Leander Club and the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre.
Commenting, Theresa said: “It would be great if the Olympic torch could visit the local area next year, and I want to make sure that the London Organising Committee have considered including Maidenhead on the route. Maidenhead would be an appropriate place for the torch to visit. We are excited to be closely connected with the Games due to our proximity to Dorney Lake, and are looking forward to welcoming many visitors to the town and the surrounding area. Welcoming the torch would be an important means of marking our involvement and building excitement for the start of the Games.”
Theresa has also written to local schools to encourage them to get involved in two initiatives connected to the Olympics – the School Games, a national school competition for pupils of all abilities, and the ‘Get Set’ free tickets programme, which will distribute 100,000 free Olympics tickets to children and young people across the country. Many local schools have already signed up for these initiatives, which will encourage young people to get involved with competitive sport. In her letter to local headteachers, Theresa said: “The 2012 Games present a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to inspire a new generation of young people and to highlight the value of competition and physical exercise. I do hope that local schools will be able to take part in these initiatives to ensure that local children and young people are not missing out on opportunities presented by the 2012 Games.”