2012 OLYMPIC TORCH IN THE MEADOWS

THURSDAY 28TH JUNE 2012

On the 28th June, the Olympic Torch came to the Meadows, continuing a marathon journey that started in Athens back in May, and will end when it lights the Olympic Flame in  London on 17th July 2012.

Over a 1,000 people lined Victoria Embankment and the streets taking in the boxing, rugby and football. Cheering on entertainers, the police, Christopher Hill and Jessica Talbot (the torchbearers) as they bounced, danced and made their way past the fields and through the terraces into Market Square.

But that doesn't really tell the whole story. This was the Meadows at its finest, community spirit, youth action and well oiled multi - agency partnerships! As MPT's youth worker I was impressed by how the young people from Meadows Youth Centre came together to create a truly inclusive one off event, sharing their club with the community. They had won money (supported by MPT and the Youth Service) from our councillors a few months ago to give the building an Olympic makeover, provide a free BBQ and arranged entertainment from the DD crew. The same grant also allowed KK Boxing to make the short journey from St Anns bringing with them young boxers from across the East Midlands whilst Karl, Topps and the Children's Centre made sure that the whole event went off without a hitch.

I say without a hitch because as the saying goes 'you can't help the weather' and this being Britain the heavens opened and plan's B through to Z came into force. It's a testament to everyone involved especially their commitment and passion that the day didn't skip a beat despite the inclement downpour and thankfully by 4pm the rain had been replaced by hearty sunshine as families arrived and residents made their way to the playing fields.

From this youth workers vantage point at the youth club I was impressed by the carnival atmosphere and general excitement that the torch had created within the community. It was a day created by people from the Meadows for the Meadows creating a surround sound of cheers and exuberance as the procession passed. For me it was special to be a part of that and for the Meadows to take a small place within Olympic history.

This event wouldn't have happened without the hard work from Baz from KK Boxing, all the workers, volunteers (without them most of the day wouldn't have been possible) and young people. Importantly though, the day wouldn't have been possible without the support and dedication of Abdul Ghaffar (our Neighbourhood Development Officer), Game On and Councillors Michael Edwards and Nicola Heaton.

A big thank you to all those involved and please if you have any thoughts or comments you'd like to share about the day email matthew.parr@nottinghamcity.gov.uk so we can include them in future Meadows Matters editions.

I will sign off though by giving the last few words to a Green Street resident who told me that her and her family had really enjoyed the event before going to the city centre ending our conversation with "what you lot did was better than town"!

 From Karl White…

On behalf of Meadows Youth Club/Family and Community team we would like to thank all our partners; Meadows Partnership Trust, KK boxing club, Neighborhood Development Officer, DD dance crew, NCYP, Riverside School, Meadows Management Committee, Sweet Story. They all did their bit to ensure we had a wonderful time welcoming the torch relay team to the Meadows.

Special thank you to Trudie O'Connell (booklets), Matt Parr (Funding), Martin Morris (BBQ/Volunteering), Naomi Kemp (volunteering), Holly (Volunteering), Justin (Volunteering), Santanna Dunk and Sharna Perkins (Youth Club members) You all did extremely brilliantly to make the event memorable.

To the Meadows community, youth club members we all hope that you enjoyed the day and take with you some good memories. On behalf of everyone above we would like to say a big thank you to you for your support in creating a truly fantastic atmosphere and historic day for everyone who attended.