The event was held at The University of Northampton’s Park Campus on a gloriously sunny day (Friday 28 October).
The queue for photographs with the Olympic Torch stretched into the hundreds for the entire day as everyone patiently waited to see a special piece of history. The event came about after a successful bid by the University’s Students’ Union to be the only University in the East Midlands to host the Torch in a nationwide search for inspirational young people – Future Flames – to carry the Olympic Flame during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
Hundreds of visitors also found out more about, and took part in, sports activities on Campus and at nearby Benham Sports Arena, including Hockey; Climbing; Football; Cricket; Boxing; Basketball; Martial Arts; Badminton; Wheelchair Basketball; Table Tennis; Stick Fighting; Rugby Union; Trampolining; Boccie; Handball; Nordic Walking; Sailing and Rowing.
Highlights of the day were also watched live via the Web by over 830 viewers across the UK, the United States, the EU, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Italy, Austria, India and Sweden.
The University’s Olympic spirit was further bolstered by the presence of Bobby White, Team GB Handball Captain; Tim Male, an Olympic rower who represented Britain in rowing at the Athens games in 2004, and Christopher Davidge, Chairman of the University’s Foundation Trustees and a former British rower who competed in the Summer Olympics three times in 1952, 1956 and 1960.
President of the Students’ Union, Tim Joaquim, said:
This has been a fantastic event and a once in a lifetime opportunity for people to see and hold the Olympic Torch. It’s been great to see our students and the wider community really embrace the Olympic spirit and enjoy all of the sports available to have a go at today.
University Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford, added:
This has been a hugely successful occasion for us and we’ve had thousands of people on Campus.
We’re very proud of our Students’ Union and we’d like to offer a big thank you to all of our supporting partners in this event, including our own Sports and Exercise Science team; Northamptonshire Sport; Northampton Town Football Club; Benham Sports Arena; all the clubs and coaches that have supported today, and all of our staff who have helped make the event such a success.
Professor Nick Petford
Ceremonies closed with a 15-minute spectacular fireworks display, courtesy of the Students’ Union.