20 May ‘The Olympic Torch Relay – Flame of Friendship’
Written by Eva with contribution from Freeshta and Hannah – Year 7 student reporters
It’s Friday 7th May 2021. It’s snowing in Scotland and more than 20 degrees in Slough. But in Coventry today it seems unexpectedly warm compared to the last few rainy days we’ve had. The clouds have allowed the sun to peek through and the wind only feels like a breeze; quite perfect for such a day!
The annual event of ‘Torch Relay’ takes place a few months before the Olympic Games. A flame is lit in Olympia, Greece, recalling the link between the Ancient Olympic Games and their modern counterpart. Throughout the Torch relay, the flame announces the Olympic Games and spreads a message of peace and friendship between peoples.
Do you know that…
On 25th March 2021 the Olympic Torch for the 2020 Games began its journey to Tokyo?
Coventry’s own Torch Relay began to make its journey on 21st April 2021 travelling between 54 Coventry schools?
The ‘Flame of Friendship’ has been passed from school to school together with a Paralympics torch and a 2012 Olympic baton given to Coventry Ambassador volunteers when they welcomed the world to Coventry during the London 2012 Games?
As everyone is gathered around, waiting for the runners from Howes primary school to begin entering our school gate, I look around and admire the banners that our fellow students of Year 7 are holding. Flags, colours, pictures and the smiley faces of all present; they all look great!
At exactly 9:30am the teachers and pupils of Howes school come flooding in and the leader is holding a decorated, metal torch with amber fire flowing in the wind. The metal has intricate carvings which make it look authentic. Whitley Academy cheer them on as the group enter, looking exhausted and their energy drains completely. The visiting team takes a short break before going off again and behind them followed our school runners.
Three Year 7 student reporters: Freeshta, Hannah and Chloe are the lucky ones to go to Corpus Christi, our next destination, and undertake some reporting there. You surely know how excited each participant is especially after too many weeks and months of online lessons and being stuck indoors. It is amazing to be offered the opportunity to participate in the event.
Additionally Freeshta, Hannah and Chloe get the privilege to follow our runners using the school mini-bus. Quite a number of beautiful photos are taken of the runners in action whilst cheering them on. Each team member is passing each other the torch and taking turns to do so. The mini-bus goes ahead of the runners and manages to get to Corpus Christi a few minutes before the delegates arrive which gives the reporters enough time to take more photos of the experience. You can view our photos in our photostory coming up shortly.
Back to the torch relay….
When our Whitley Academy team arrives, cheers immediately begin; a wave of encouragement. People supporting each other, waving banners, clapping, taking pictures and soon after, the torch is passed onto a member of Corpus Christi. The school is kind enough to offer biscuits and treats to all the participants after their hard work. Some Year 7 students of ours, tired by the running, decide to take the mini-bus with our student reporters whilst the rest of them run all the way back to Whitley Academy. The runners aren’t the only people with excitement. In the minibus, the students are singing on their way back to celebrate the day.
Freeshta and Hannah interview a few of the runners asking them if they would do it again; their response was, ‘May be another time! At the moment it’s a NO because it was way too tiring!’
It’s really great to see so many teachers, staff and pupils participating in such a great event and having fun too! The massive smiles on everyone’s face make us realise more the focus of this event: ‘Flame of Friendship’.
I also have a great time watching such determined people. We really hope that Whitley Academy gets to participate in event of this nature more often.
Mr Cremin – Head of Physical Education (P.E) reflects on the event:
“A great day with the community coming to together to celebrate friendship and look forward to a summer packed of sports and excitement’.
Click here to see our photostory of the Torch Relay.