Olympic flame burns brightly in Cookstown

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The Olympic flame burns brightly in Cookstown as the Mid-Ulster Sports Arena (MUSA) recently played host to 100 local children and young people who took part in the Flames programme.

This six week programme includes five weeks of activity sessions in schools and clubs, culminating in an exciting sporting event inspired by the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. This event is one of a number of local initiatives developed by British Heart Foundation (BHF) Northern Ireland’s Hearty Lives Cookstown Programme.

All those attending the event were inspired by words of encouragement from Jonathan Cummings, a local Paralympics’ swimmer.

Jonathon says: “It’s encouraging to see local children of all abilities come together and show such enthusiasm for sport. The event is a celebration of what they have achieved over the programme and reminds them that exercise can be fun.”

The Flames Programme aims to establish an active legacy for children and young people and enrich learning for young leaders. Senior pupils from both Cookstown High School and Holy Trinity College received sports leaders training from MUSA staff enabling them to deliver the Flames Programme to local Primary Schools.

Through the physical activity sessions the young leaders aimed to promote the Olympic and Paralympic values (1) such as Courage, Determination and Respect and key health messages (2) to motivate children and young people to become active.

Heidi Blackwood a teacher from Cookstown High School stated that, “The young leaders had a positive experience and gained knowledge of dealing with young children as well as developing planning and time management skills.”

The event at MUSA celebrated the completion of the six week programme and included its own opening and closing ceremony as well as a reading of the Flames Oath.

The highlight of the festival was the recreation of the 1948 torch relay using Loughborough College’s original 1948 Olympic torch.

For more information about Hearty Lives Cookstown visit: bhf.org.uk/heartylivescookstown