There was cheery news in Sandwell with the announcement that the Olympic Flame is to be carried through the borough on its way to the London 2012 Games.
Thousands of local people will be able to share in the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay and cheer on torchbearers as they pass through Oldbury, West Bromwich and Smethwick on Saturday 30 June 2012.
Sandwell Council leader Councillor Darren Cooper said: “The Olympic Torch Relay coming to Sandwell will be a wonderful occasion for everyone in our community to join together and celebrate the Olympics being in this country.
“This fantastic news is a clear sign from the Olympic Committee that the 2012 Games will benefit places like Sandwell.
“Sandwell is already benefiting from two new outdoor gyms – called AdiZones – at Victoria Park, Smethwick, and Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich. These were partly funded by adidas in their role as an official Olympic sponsor.
“We have a real sporting heritage in Sandwell and a wealth of homegrown sporting talent that will be pushing to be Olympians in 2012 and beyond.”
Oldbury-based triathlete Jodie Stimpson trains at Sandwell Leisure Trust-run Langley Swimming Centre. She is hoping to represent Great Britain in the 2012 Games.
She said: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge of getting to the Games and onto the start line. This would be my first Olympics and it’s made even more special by being held in London.
“It’s amazing to hear that the Olympic Torch will be coming through my home town. This will hopefully attract more attention to the sport of triathlon and to sport in general in Sandwell.”
Oldbury, West Bromwich and Smethwick are three out of more than a thousand villages, towns and cities through which the Olympic Flame will pass.