Calls for Olympic torch to light up the city

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THE Olympic torch could travel through Wakefield as part of celebrations next year.

That is the hope of leaders and sports stars who are calling for the iconic flame to make an appearance in the city during its relay through the country.

On Wednesday Lord Sebastian Coe and his organising committee announced that five locations in the Yorkshire and Humber region will host the torch and hold evening celebrations ahead of the London Games 2012.

But key details of its exact route through West Yorkshire will not be announced until later this year.

The torch could travel through Wakefield during its route from Leeds to Sheffield on June 25.

Wakefield Council leader Coun Peter Box said: “We will be doing all we can to encourage the organisers to include Wakefield on the route between these start and finish locations for the Olympic torch, particularly as we have so much going on in the district.”

The city’s bid could be boosted by the fact Wakefield Hockey Club will be used as a pre-games training camp and Olympic hopefuls back the idea.

Wakefield Harriers long distance runner Julie Briscoe, 35, hopes to qualify for the marathon. She said: “I think it would be a great idea if the torch came to Wakefield and would help boost athletics in the area.

“It is really exciting that the Olympics will be in this country next year and there is a buzz amongst English athletes.”

City residents can also nominate people in their community to be one of the 8,000 torchbearers to carry the Olympic Flame.

Schools can still apply for free tickets to events through the Olympic’s Get Set scheme.

The torch will set off from Land’s End and arrive 70 days later in the Olympic Stadium in London. It will pass through Leeds, Sheffield, York, Hull and Cleethorpes.

For more details visit www.london2012.com