SIXTY-FOUR schools and 17,000 children later, the Bassetlaw Games torch relay has finally come to an end.
The relay, a brainchild of Worksop Harriers chairman Peter Fendley, began on 20th February and visited every one of the district’s schools before finishing last Friday at the town hall.
Runners from Worksop Harriers and various guests accompanied the specially designed torch on its journey, with 1,100 miles completed by the team in four months.
The final leg of the relay saw over 100 runners take the torch from Worksop Priory School to the town hall on Friday evening, before a reception to celebrate the achievement.
Coun Julie Leigh, portfolio holder for environment and leisure at Bassetlaw Council, congratulated Fendley and the Harriers on a ‘fantastic’ effort.
She told the Guardian: “The Harriers and Peter Fendley have been fantastic throughout the schools torch relay.”
“From the initial idea to driving the route to check it would all work out, Peter’s passion for sport and athletics has been infectious.”
“I’d also like to thank A1 Housing and Focus on Young People in Bassetlaw for their help in getting the torch to all 64 Bassetlaw Schools and Laing O’Rourke for sponsoring the relay.”
“Over 100 runners have run over 1,100 miles between the schools and I am sure this will inspire the pupils to take up an interest in sport.”
The idea was brought to the Bassetlaw Games steering group by Fendley last year and he’s delighted with how it panned out.
“We knew we had to get all the school children involved to make the Bassetlaw Games work, but once I thought a bit more deeply about the relay I realised what it was going to take in terms of logistics,” he said.
“To get through 64 days, 17,000 children and over 1,100 miles with no injuries or incidents is a highlight in itself.”
“Every school took it on board and got involved, they all did something, and some are asking for the torch to come back for subsequent events.”
“The finish went really well and the support we had from A1 Housing, the extended schools co-ordinators, Vicky Rawson at Focus on Young People in Bassetlaw, Bassetlaw Council and the photographers at the Worksop Guardian was fantastic.”
“It was almost the perfect project.”
The Worksop Guardian photographic captured every stage of the relay, with a picture from every school published in this week’s special supplement – see page 37.