Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us Click here for details »
Children all set to line streets and cheer Olympic torch on its way
CHILDREN will be lining the streets to cheer the Olympic torch relay when it continues on its journey by passing through south Essex on July 6.
Essex County Council is allowing schools to either shut early or let pupils turn up to school late on the day when the flame travels around the region.
Southend Council has also given schools the chance to either go there en-masse to the route, or allow parents to take their children out of school to see it.
Schools in Rayleigh, including Rayleigh Primary School and Down Hall Primary School, have already confirmed they will let pupils spend the morning along the torch route rather than in class.
Lou Reck, from Down Hall, said: “This was simply too big an opportunity to miss for our youngsters.
“Everyone is really excited about it coming through their home town.
“A lot of the work we have done with the pupils has been about the Olympics.
“Our staff are planning on coming in extra early on July 6, because we are expecting the traffic to be absolutely crazy.”
When the torch reaches Southend, special zones will be set up along the route for schools to bring their pupils to see the relay.
Katy Manning, a Year 5 teacher at Milton Hall Primary School, said the pupils can’t wait to see the torch from their designated spot by the Shorefield Road junction of Western Esplanade.
Miss Manning said: “It is going to be a brilliant opportunity for the children to see the torch and be part of such a huge event.
“They have got into the Olympic spirit, with some lessons being themed around the Games.
“They have been trying out some of the lesser-known sports like handball and boccia, so I think they are going to be very excited on July 6.”
Schools in Basildon will be closing at 2pm to allow pupils to see the torchbearers. Vivien Childs, from Cherry Trees Primary School, in Church Road, Basildon, said: “This is the chance of a lifetime.”
The torch is due to arrive in Rayleigh at about 10.20am, before going into Southend at 10.55am, Hadleigh at 1.52pm and Basildon Sporting Village at 3.45pm.