Children are holding a torch for Olympics

Gomer's Olympic committee members (from left) Georgia Bottriell, Sean Fusire, Sian Poole, Alex Moon and Jordan Cutler hold the torch
Gomer's Olympic committee members (from left) Georgia Bottriell, Sean Fusire, Sian Poole, Alex Moon and Jordan Cutler hold the torch
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Children at two schools in Gosport enjoyed the opportunity to take part in their own Olympic torch relay.

Pupils from Gomer Infants and Gomer Juniors each got to hold their own torch, which was passed from every pupil in the infants across to the juniors.

It’s part of a relay between all the schools in the Bay House cluster. Each school will get to keep the torch for two days before it’s passed on.

Junior school teacher Caroline Ashworth, who made the torch, says: ‘We decided as a cluster of schools to have our own Olympic torch ceremony.

‘It worked quite well. We had a passing between the infant and the junior schools. Each child got to hold the torch as it passed between the schools.’

She adds: ‘We kept the torch on show so the children could have a look.

‘The children liked that because they got to hold the torch and see it close up.

‘A lot of the younger ones thought it was the real torch.’

The torch was made out papier mache with silk material used to represent the flame. Each school adds a little symbol on to the torch to show where it has been across the area.

Caroline says that teaching the children about the values of the Olympic Games is important.

‘It’s vital really,’ she says.

‘We have said to the children a lot that this probably won’t happen in their lifetime again. We have been studying all different aspects to it.

‘The children are getting completely immersed in it. They are starting to really understand why it’s so important and what effects it has in our country with the different cultures and the different people.’

She adds: ‘We are going to be centre stage for the whole world. It opens their eyes to the whole event.

‘Immersing them for this half-term means that when it starts they will hopefully have the interest to watch the events.

‘They know about certain athletes and Paralympians who they might not have known about before. They are just getting a wider knowledge of the Olympics.’

Caroline says that the children really appreciated having their own torch relay.

‘They seemed to really enjoy it, especially the younger ones.

‘It brought all the schools together. It was a lovely atmosphere.’

The torch has also visited Leesland Infants, Leesland Juniors, Alverstoke Infants, Alverstoke Juniors, Lee-on-the-Solent Infants and Lee-on-the-Solent Junior School.