Congleton one of first Communities to embrace the games in 2012
The Communities of Much Wenlock in Shropshire and Congleton in Cheshire were amongst the first in the UK to start celebrating the Olympic Year with a 60 mile relay between the two towns on Monday 2 January carrying a message of good will from Lord Sebastian Coe.
Britain’s first Olympic female track gold medallist – Ann Brightwell (nee Packer) who lives in Congleton carried the goodwill baton at the start and finish of the run. The journey began in Much Wenlock, birthplace of the modern Olympics at 7.30am. A group of 20 determined athletes from the Boalloy Running Club in Congleton made sure the message was carried safely along the 60 mile journey.
The run was organised by Team Congleton, a group which is working hard to give the town lots of opportunities to help celebrate the Olympic Games year. The relay run marked the start of these celebrations.
Junior members of the Boalloy running club joined with Ann and the senior members for the final leg of the journey from Astbury Mere to Congleton Town Centre, where a crowd gathered to welcome them.
Congleton Town Crier, Doulgas Parker – received the baton from Ann Brightwell containing the messages from Lord Sebastian Coe and the Mayor of Much Wenlock. The Baton was specially made by the artists at Congleton’s Electric Picture House for this event, and will be put on display in the Town Hall.
The Mayor of Much Wenlock, Councillor Lesley Durbin, said:
“On Behalf of the people of Much Wenlock I am delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to send the people of Congleton our hopes for a prosperous and happy Olympic Year of 2012, my very best wishes to you all.”
Lord Sebastian Coe’s message read:
“I wish Congleton all the very best for its summer of 2012 celebrations. With its sports awards, a youth talent identification programme, multisport events and taster sessions there is something for everybody. It is great to see a community planning so far ahead and I encourage everyone to get involved and be part of the London 2012 Games.”
Robbie Brightwell, who was the main organiser of the event on behalf of Team Congleton was full of praise for the runners and support team. Mr Brightwell said: “This was teamwork at its best, we worked together and have achieved something quite remarkable to get our Olympic celebrations off to a great start. I would like to praise our sponsors – Senior Aerospace, Marks and Spencers, Fiona Bruce MP and Steve Purdham for their backing and belief in us.”
He added: “It is now important to build on the momentum that we have started, and get local groups involved with the Polyathlon, It’s a Knock Out, supporting future stars, greeting the Olympic flame, Sports Relief fun run and other games related activities which are being held in the town.”
The Boalloy Runners involved were: Katie Hollins, Carl Williams, Steven Macca, Anthony Derbyshire, Dennis Valleley, Bob Boon, Dennis Lea, Lee Campbell, Tyler Goodwin, Richard Cooper, Julian Goodwin, Mick Haire, Toby Miller, Brad Scott, Andrew Stevens, Tim Miller, Tim Derbyshire, Paul Minshull, Emma King and Chris Wade.
More information about Team Congleton activities can be seen at www.congleton-tc.gov.uk
For further information please contact Jackie MacArthur, Congleton Town Council on 01260 270 350 ext 2