THE countdown is nearly over.
In just a few days the Olympic Torch Relay will pass through Burnley, marking a prestigious and historic moment in the history of the town.
The relay enters the town just after 11am on Saturday and a number of torchbearers from Burnley and Pendle have been specially selected by the Olympic committee to represent the area on this epic journey.
Two of these are Lucy Cowgill (23) from Burnley, and Lizzie Stansfield (18) from Colne, who have been nominated by Pendle Leisure Trust for their commitment and passion for volunteering and sports development in the area.
The pair, along with Jade Brindle (17), from Colne and Liz Greenwood (13) from Burnley, will be part of a 13-strong team who will be carrying the flame through town.
Lucy said: “It means a great deal that I am one of the people to run with the torch. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I still can’t believe I get to do it.”
Lucy is a project co-ordinator within sports development and is responsible for the Pendle Volunteer programme. Through this role she has doubled the number of volunteers becoming coaches, increasing the opportunities for local people to get into physical activity.
Lizzie Stansfield has been volunteering for six years, and through this discovered her love of helping young people get involved in sport.
Lizzie added: “It’s such an honour to be rewarded in this special way. I’m not sure how I’ll be feeling on the day but hopefully I’ll keep it together.”
Coun. John Harbour, Burnley Council’s Executive member for leisure and culture, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming the Olympic flame to Burnley, and seeing the torchbearers do their lap of glory through the town.
“We’ve been following the torch’s progress round the UK and know it’s going to be a great day for the town.”
The first torchbearer is expected to start running along Accrington Road at 11-05am.
The torchbearers will then pass down Westway, Trafalgar Street, Sandygate, St James’s Street, and through the town centre to Place De Vitry, then up to Manchester Road.