Weymouth and Portland students celebrate second day of Olympic relay

1:30pm Wednesday 4th July 2012

By Emma Walker and Kirsty Beckingham

PUPILS across Weymouth and Portland embraced the Olympic spirit on the second day of their own torch relay.

The School to School Torch relay continued from the Wey Valley School yesterday morning.

Pupils and teachers ignored the bad weather and celebrated the Olympic-inspired relay.

The torch is being escorted by schoolchildren on a trail around each of the 25 schools in the Chesil Education Partnership.

It kicked-off from the Nothe Fort on Monday and will end with a ‘closing ceremony’ at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy next week.

Celebrations began yesterday morning when St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary, Wyvern School and The Wey Valley School united for a day of drumming, Morris dancing and circus skills.

Deputy headteacher of St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary,Jay Rangdale said: “It has been great to get all the schools together and for the children to embrace the Olympic values.”

Olympic youth ambassadors Emily Fraher, 11, Sophie Suter, 9, Marcus Heggie, 11 and Daniel Henman, 10, welcomed the torch to St Nicholas and St Laurence.

Daniel said: "As youth Olympic Ambassadors we were chosen and it was brilliant.”

Year nine sports leaders, of The Wey Valley School, jogged the torch to Radipole Primary from Wey Valley.

One of the runners George Morrissey, 13, said: “It’s been very exciting welcoming the torch as it unites all the schools.”

Cheers and applause echoed around Radipole Primary School as schoolchildren lined up to for the unveiling of a huge ‘Swan Car’.

Staff and pupils dedicated hours to decorate the car, which completed the next leg of the relay to Southill Primary School.

A police escort followed the huge bird to the excitement of all the children, staff and parents, who had gathered to see it.

Headteacher Veronique Singer, who drove the decorated vehicle, said: “It is so much fun for the children – they have all worked on a part of the swan.

“The first time they will see it all complete is when I drive it out of the school.”

Each pupil at Southill Primary sat in a spiral and passed the torch from hand to hand after welcoming the torch with drum beats and cheerleading.

The next leg of the relay will begin today, heading out from Southill Primary School to Chickerell Primary, Budmouth College and Portesham Primary School.

Town centre road closures and Parking restrictions announced

TOWN centre closures and parking restrictions that will come into place for the Olympic Torch Relay next week have been announced.

Dorset will have its first real taste of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games when the relay works its way through the county on Thursday, July 12 and Friday, July 13.

The Olympic flame is set to receive a warm welcome in Dorset, home of the largest London 2012 venue outside the capital.

Large crowds are expected to cheer on the torchbearers as they pass through. The torch convoy, which takes 10-15 minutes to pass, will mean a rolling road closure as well as some full road closures and parking restrictions. There are 42 communities in Dorset where the torch will be carried through the streets, with the rest of the journey in a vehicle convoy.

People wanting to see it need to make sure they arrive ahead of time, use public transport where possible and know where they can park.

Several town centres roads will be closed an hour before and for up to half an hour afterwards including in Dorchester, Bridport, Lyme Regis and Weymouth (town centre and Preston).

Parking restrictions will also be in force in the towns as well as in Burton Bradstock, Abbotsbury, Chickerell, Lanehouse, Abbotsbury and South-well, Portland.

Chairman of the Dorset Olympic Board Angus Campbell said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of this historic event. I am delighted that so many people in Dorset will have the chance to see the torch.

“Roads will be affected – we need to make sure that the torch convoy can pass through the county safely.”

Visit dorsetforyou.com/sailing2012/events/olympic-torch-relay to find out where the torch will be and when.

For up-to-the-minute travel information during the torch relay, and the Games themselves, follow @sailing_2012 on Twitter.

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