Nearly 40 runners and over a thousand spectators took part in Pendle’s very own Olympic torch relay yesterday.

Inspired by the national torch relay and keen to demonstrate the sense of partnership working between the schools, local high-school head teachers planned a torch relay which involved all six Pendle High Schools to acknowledge the forthcoming Olympic Games.

A ten mile route was mapped out with 36 different handover points, starting at West Craven Technology College in Barnoldswick and finishing at Marsden Heights Community College in Brierfield. The route also included Park High School, Primet High School, SS John Fisher & Thomas More High School and Pendle Vale College. Accompanied by staff and other runners from the schools, pupils took it in turn to run with a specially made Pendle torch. Staff from all of the schools kept a close eye on the pupils by following in cars, school minibuses and even a bicycle. Passersby cheered on the runners and welcoming parties at each of the schools celebrated the handovers.

Nelson and Colne College hosted a reception at the end of the event for all participants and arranged for three of the ‘real’ Olympic Torch bearers to attend so that pupils could get to see a genuine torch and congratulate the bearers. Elizabeth Stansfield, Alice Martindale and Jade Brindle, who are all former Pendle High School students then posed for photos with the runners.

After the awful weather last week it was good to see blue sky over Pendle on the morning of the event. Runners and spectators alike had a fantastic day and a real sense of community spirit was in evidence.

Pendle Head Teachers were delighted with the success of the event and praised the enthusiasm and athleticism of the runners. Many of the pupils did not just run for their leg but ran alongside fellow pupils for much of the relay. Pendle and its high schools can be very proud of its young people this week.