Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Ní Chuilín pays tribute to the Torchbearers

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has welcomed the third day of the Olympic Torch Relay in the north.

Speaking on the morning the Torch set off on its journey to Newry, the Minister said: "The planning of the all-Ireland Torch Relay has been years in the preparation, with many people and communities coming together to plan details such as the route, the Torchbearers and the celebrations. Last night's event in Derry showcased a vibrant, youthful city coming together to celebrate in the Olympic spirit.

"Now it is the turn of cities, towns and villages such as Fivemiletown, Caledon, Armagh, Banbridge and Newry to join in with one of the greatest global sporting occasions.

"Many of the Torchbearers have inspirational stories to tell. Amongst them are the oldest Torchbearer here, Bob Lingwood, and the youngest - Hannah Rainey. Bob, who will be carrying the Torch in Omagh, was nominated for his work in his local community. Hannah, who will be in Lisburn, was nominated for her fundraising and dedication. I wish them both well, along with the hundreds of other people who are carrying the Flame on its journey.

"The Olympic Games are about celebrating both sport and culture and perhaps becoming involved in something you might not have been before. This is reflected in the many events and activities taking place along the route. For example, there are the Olympic Challenge sports taster sessions in Armagh; and in Portadown the five sports hubs with athletics, climbing walls, street entertainment and Samba bands, as well as a balloon release by young people involved in Craigavon Intercultural Programme's Inspire project. I am sure the Olympic Games and the all-Ireland Torch Relay will inspire people to become involved in sport or their local communities long after London 2012 has finished.

"Tonight will see the Torch Relay finish in Newry, where I am sure there is still much celebrating to be done."

For information on the Torch route please visit www.london2012.com/torch-relay/route

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