HOLBEACH has a special affinity with this year’s major sporting event – having produced two Olympians and a Paralympian.
And those three sporting heroes will be in the town to join in the celebrations when the Olympic torch comes to Holbeach on July 4 – at 11am, if things go to plan.
Holbeach’s world-class athletes include 400m hurdler in the 1968 Olympics Stuart Storey, who is a BBC commentator, Olympic shot putter and Commonwealth Gold medallist Geoff Capes and Paralympic Gold medallist in the shotput Sally Reddin. All three will be meeting the crowds and being interviewed by Tulip Radio.
However, there is much more entertainment both before and after the baton passes on to the next village.
The town will be decorated with specially made balloons, flags and Olympic bunting and about 1,500 schoolchildren from the three Holbeach schools, All Saints Pre School and from outlying villages will be lining the streets.
There will be specialist market stalls in Church Street from 8.30am to 12.30pm and the High Street, which will be closed from 9.30am to 1pm from QD Stores to Budgens, will have entertainment of various kinds.
This will include Tulip Radio carrying out live interviews, commentary and music, stilt walkers and clowns, a dance troop, songs from William Stukeley Primary School, zumba and mini zumba dancers, morris dancers, displays from a local sports club and a falconry display.
Adding to the festive atmosphere will be Holbeach Town (Training) Band and jazz band The Kingswingers, while at All Saints’ Church the bells will be rung to announce the arrival of the torch and inside the building will be a display of Olympic memorabilia, as well as teas and cakes.
Olympic sponsors Lloyds TSB, Samsung and Coca-Cola will also be providing entertainment with their “pre-activation” vehicles.
One of the Holbeach torch bearers is 49-year-old Mandy Woods who only decided to get fit and lose weight four years ago.
Since then, she has lost a stone in weight and run the London Marathon, raising funds for Lincolnshire Air Ambulance.
“I have gone from not being able to run up the stairs to running the marathon,” said Mandy. “It’s a hobby now and I still run four or five times a week and really enjoy it.
“I have applied to run in the London Marathon again next year.”