Gosport going for gold to welcome the Olympic torch

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OLYMPIC fever is stirring in Gosport as community leaders urge people to get involved in this summer’s torch relay.

The Olympic torch will pass through Fareham and Gosport on its way to Portsmouth.

Now, more than 150 people have met to come up with ideas on how to welcome it to the town.

Organisers of the Gosport Going 4 Gold campaign want to hold an event in Walpole Park to mark the torch’s arrival.

Shopkeepers will be encouraged to decorate their stores and Gosport High Street could be covered in paper chains made by residents. If the torch is taken to Portsmouth across the harbour, there could even be a mini flotilla of ships to go with it.

Jacky Charman, who helped organise the torch discussion, said: ‘The atmosphere at the meeting was electric – it really was fantastic.

‘We had more than 150 people turn up.

‘The room was decorated in gold and it looked great.

‘The feeling was of excitement and that something great was going to happen.

‘The important thing is that we want individuals to get involved in any way they can.

‘I’d like to say a big thank you to Hampshire County Council and Gosport Borough Council who have both been very helpful to us throughout the whole thing.’

The torch will arrive in Fareham on July 15 before going to Gosport, through Bridgemary.

The torch will then cross to Portsmouth, possibly on a ferry, for a celebration in the city.

Details of the exact route are being kept under wraps until eight weeks before the event.

Because the torch is not passing through the north of Hampshire, it is hoped Gosport could see an influx of visitors on the day.

Brian Russell, the vice chairman of Gosport Community Events, said: ‘Some of these ideas will see Gosport become a sea of red, white, blue and gold in July.

‘The session clearly illustrated the great enthusiasm with which Gosport is embracing the torch.

‘Gosport should give a large vote of thanks to Jacky Charman for her efforts in securing the torch coming to Gosport.

‘There is little doubt the borough will celebrate this once in a lifetime occasion with great enthusiasm.’

For more information or to get involved, search for Gosport Going 4 Gold on Facebook.

You can contact Mr Russell on (023) 9258 4371.