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Olympic Flame continues to burn bright in Cookstown

14 April 2016

The Olympic flame continues to burn bright in Cookstown as the Mid-Ulster Sports Arena (MUSA) recently played host to 158 local children and young people who took part in the Flames programme.

The event marked the completion of the three week Flames programme of activity in schools and following the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, included its own opening and closing ceremony as well as a reading of the Flames Oath.

Flames: Lighting the Way is an Olympic and Paralympic value driven programme developed by the British Heart Foundation in partnership with Loughborough College centred on physical activity and health.

This is the sixth year the Council (previously Cookstown District Council), the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and the two local secondary schools, Cookstown High School and Holy Trinity College, have worked in partnership in the development and delivery of the programme.

All those attending the event were inspired by words of encouragement from Jonathan Cummings, a local Paralympic swimmer and Patsy Forbes, a local senior athlete who is the second fastest man in the world over 70 and a 2012 Olympic torch bearer.

The Flames Programme aims to establish an active legacy for children and young people and enrich learning for young leaders. Senior pupils from both Cookstown High School and Holy Trinity College received sports leaders training from MUSA staff enabling them to deliver the Flames Programme to Primary 5-6 children in six Primary Schools: St.Mary’s PS, Dunamore, Cookstown Primary School, St.Patrick’s Mullinahoe, Ardboe, Newmills PS, St Joseph’s PS, Killeenan, Holy Trinity PS and Phoenix Integrated PS.

Through the physical activity sessions the young leaders aimed to promote the Olympic and Paralympic values such as Courage, Determination and Respect and provided key health messages to motivate children and young people to become active.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Linda Dillon feels the Flames event is an excellent tool for instilling positive values in the children and young people taking part. She said:

“Any event which promotes values such as courage, determination and respect is definitely a beneficial one in my view. The learning and advice the children took away from the event was fantastic and it was all delivered in a fun, active and inspiring way.”

Paralympian Jonathon Cummings added: “It’s encouraging to see local children of all abilities come together and show such enthusiasm for sport. The event is a celebration of what they have achieved through the programme and reminds them that exercise can be fun.”

Feedback from the teachers attending was very positive with one teacher commenting:

“I hope the programme becomes a fixed event in Mid Ulster School’s sporting calendar, we thoroughly enjoyed it.”

For more information please visit: http://www.flameslightingtheway.co.uk

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