Havering pupils light the way in Olympic-themed event

HAVERING school children are leading - and lighting - the way today (Friday October 1) for the start of the London-wide Olympic Walk to School event.

Around 600 pupils from schools across the borough are taking part in a series of Olympic-themed activities at Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch including dancing, sports and healthy eating workshops.

They will light the 1948 Olympic torch, which will be passed on to pupils of other London boroughs.

Victoria Ohuruogu, the 17-year-old sister of Olympic gold medallist and former Havering school pupil Christine - who is aiming for medal success at the London 2012 Olympics - will be at the park to speak to the children about her sporting ambitions and how to achieve their own dreams.

Speaking from the walk Jill Kingston, Towers Junior School’s business manger, said: “It is a big a tremendous and historic event for all the schools in Havering and all over London. We are walking with the 1948 Olympic torch now; Towers Junior School is very proud.”

Havering school pupils will walk to Eastbrookend Country Park, Dagenham, this afternoon, to hand the torch over to children from Barking and Dagenham, where the next event will be held.

The torch will travel across London being passed between school children until it reaches Greenwich for a closing party on Friday October 22.

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Havering Council was chosen by Transport for London (TfL), which runs Walk to School Week, to lead the event after the council suggested a Walk to School month-long event to include every London borough.

The 33 London boroughs have been split into five regions, to represent the five Olympic rings, to host handovers of the Olympic torch. Each borough will also put two pledges alongside the torch, which will play a role in London 2012.

Havering’s pledges will come from Towers Junior School, in Windsor Road, Hornchurch.

Cllr Barry Tebbutt, cabinet member for the environment, said: “Our previous Walk to School Weeks have been a phenomenal success so it is only right that this year’s month-long event starts here.

“By coming up with this idea of a longer event we have managed to get every London borough involved. The whole idea of the event is to encourage children to walk to school and, with such a big, London-wide event, I hope parents and children across the capital will sit up and take notice.”