Olympic torch lights up Forfar

OLYMPIC fever rolled in to Forfar today on day 25 of the torch relay through the country, writes Janet Thomson.

It was Forfar’s chance to shine - and the crowds did not disappoint.

The excitement was palpable as school pupils were bused in and office and shop workers prepared to cheer on the torch-bearers as they made their way down Brechin Road, along Castle Street and out along the Glamis Road.

Along the route groups of school pupils and nursery pupils cheered the torch on.

As a warm-up to the torch’s arrival, some 156 pupils from every school in Angus took part in a world-record breaking attempt to break the men’s 10,000 metre relay time of 27 minutes, 1.17 seconds.

They were counted down by three Angus pupils who had won a design competition - Gemma McCabe of Isla Primary, Glen Kelly of Seaview and Zara Hill of Whitehills.

The six pupils from every secondary school and two from every primary school in Angus threw their hearts and souls into trying to break the record, and at the time of going to press there were unconfirmed reports that, whilst they hadn’t beaten the men’s record, they had beaten the 10,000m women’s record. Proud parents, grand-parents and friends cheered the youngsters on.

Among the crowd were Angus Provost Helen Oswald and Angus Councillor Glennis Middleton, who praised the youngsters’ enthusiasm and commitment.

Provost Oswald said: “It is great to see the young people rising to the challenge. It is great that the young people have been involved and hopefully it will encourage them, and those who are older, to become involved in sports. This is a once in a life-time opportunity to welcome the Olympic flame to our communities.

“4500 schoolchildren will be out on the route to experience this historic moment.

“I’m sure that many Angus residents will join them and give a rousing reception to the 20+ inspiring community torchbearers who are carrying the flame through our streets.”

After the relay event all attention turned to the Brechin Road and the expectant arrival of the torch.

An entourage of sponsor buses got the party started, with a short wait of five minutes before the first Olympic torch bearer appeared as the flame was carried through the town.

There was a special treat for youngsters from Jack and Jill’s Elite Nursery as the first torch-bearer through the town “high fived” the pre-school kids, who had made their own special Olympic torches for the occasion.

Along the route the crowds cheered as six torch-bearers carried the flame - lit by the sun’s rays in Greece - as the relay wound its way out of Forfar and along to Meigle and Burrelton before arriving in Dundee.

For full details see tomorrow’s paper.