Grampian prepares for arrival of torch

Schools and communities across Grampian are preparing their own special celebrations for the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay on Monday, June 11.

Thousands of people are expected to line the streets to watch the Olympic Flame on its way across the Aberdeenshire. A number of local groups have organised special activities to mark the historic event.

Pupils from Aboyne Primary School will welcome the Torch with a Highland Dancing performance on Aboyne Green, as the convoy passes by at 4.19pm on June 11.

The Summer of Song event at Banchory’s Bellfield Park will be one of the biggest celebrations to take place in Aberdeenshire. The Woodend Barn in Banchory will set up an electronic sound installation made up of five speakers, arranged in the style of the Olympic rings.

Music will be played, including recordings from the Banchory Singers choir group, along with audio recordings of members of the local community. The event will run from 4pm until 6pm.

Woodend Barn director Nicola Henderson said: “Woodend Barn is delighted to join with Banchory in welcoming the Olympic Torch into our community. When you are so far from London, it is easy to feel detached from the Olympics and this is an amazing opportunity to connect with the celebrations through the Cultural Olympiad.

“We have worked with sound artist Ross Whyte to create an installation which will use voices from the Banchory area speaking about their memories and thoughts on what the Olympics means for them, turning them into music which will create an energy for the runner and give him the support he needs to complete the final leg of his journey.”

The Olympic Torch will pass through Stonehaven at 8.56am on Tuesday, June 12, accompanied by music from a group of around 20 bell-ringers standing close to the town’s Market Square.

Hundreds of school pupils from across Aberdeenshire will also be helping to mark the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay. Some schools have arranged transport for children to see the Flame at points along the route, and many are holding their own sports events afterwards in tribute to the Olympic Games, and as part of National School Sports Week.

Schools holding special Olympic-style events on the days of the relay include Marykirk Primary School, Lumphanan Primary School and Kincardine O’Neil Primary School, among others.

Hundreds of pupils will gather at Catto Park in Peterhead for an Olympic-themed athletics event on Wednesday, June 13. Around 750 children are expected to attend an Olympic Sports Day at Mearns Academy in Laurencekirk on Friday, June 15. Another 200 from Catterline, Gourdon, Johnshaven and Kinneff are taking part in a Coastal Schools Olympics event on Tuesday, June 19.

Aberdeenshire Provost Jill Webster said: “It is great to see so many schools and communities getting involved to make the Torch’s visit to Aberdeenshire extra special.

“Next week we have an opportunity to showcase all our region has to offer to a global audience and I’m delighted that everyone has come together to support this exciting event.”