Olympics day will be a hive of activity

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MORE details about a major event to celebrate the countdown to the London Olympics have been released.

Celebration Village ... Let the Games Begin is a free day-long event planned for Summerhill Outdoor Centre and Country Park, off Catcote Road, in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council has organised the event for Sunday, July 24, between 11am and 5pm to mark the one year to go date to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Before the main “village” opens there will be a family fun run around the site starting at 9.30am, in partnership with the Burn Road Harriers.

The main event gets underway at 11am when the visitors centre and surrounding area will be hosting sports demonstrations by local clubs.

Confirmed displays so far include Hartlepool Wadokai, zumba demonstrations and Hartlepool Gymnastics Club.

Most activities will be as “interactive” as possible, while there will also be a play area for the under-fives featuring a giant chess board, jenga and tug-of-war, as well as picnic tables.

There will be a range of arts and dance performances, BMX displays and a trapeze group near the high ropes course.

There will also be four guided walks around the site at 11.15am, 12.15am, 1.15pm and 2.15pm. Independent councillor Hilary Thompson, portfolio holder for culture, leisure and tourism, will consider the proposals at a meeting on Tuesday.

Pat Usher, the council’s sport and recreation manager, said: “Some noteworthy guests have been invited to attend including Hartlepool’s current Olympic hopefuls, boxers Savannah Marshall and Amanda Coulson and swimmer Jemma Lowe.

“As part of our wider Olympic Legacy programme, these athletes are also taking part in the Hartlepool Women in Sport photography exhibition that will be completed and displayed in the Art Gallery in July 2012.

Hartlepool Sixth Form College students have been involved in marketing and promoting the Summerhill event.

A £10,000 grant from Arts Council England will fund the arts-based performances and the council has provided the remaining £7,000 funding.

It is part of the town’s pledge to create an Olympic legacy and comes after the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) asked local authorities to stage celebratory events.

The portfolio meeting will be held at 10am at the Civic Centre.