East Yorkshire's Olympic connections
The “Bee Lady” is prepped, the giant sprinting centipede braced: Hull and East Yorkshire are ready for the arrival of the Olympic torch.
The flame will visit Bridlington, Beverley and Hull on Monday June 18, before making its way to Brough and Goole on Tuesday June 19.
The "Bee Lady of Hull”, aka 90-year-old Jean Bishop, has been training hard for the event, as has fellow torchbearer and judo champion Karen Briggs.
People are gearing up for the Games elsewhere too – scores of projects inspired by the Olympics have sprung up all over Hull and East Yorkshire.
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One such project is Girls in the Ring, a photograph exhibition celebrating Yorkshire women who box. Be it for fitness, self-defence or stress release, women from all walks of life are motivated to get in the ring.
The exhibition was inspired by the fact that at London 2012, for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, women will be allowed to compete in the boxing ring.
The exhibition, due to go on show at Hull Museums from Saturday August 4 until Sunday September 9, has been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark. This is the badge of the London 2012 Inspire Programme, which recognises exceptional and innovative projects from non-commercial organisations that have been inspired by the Games. More than 185 such projects have popped up in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Meanwhile a host of youngsters from Hull have been selected for high-profile volunteering roles during the Games. They, like their counterparts from Aberdeen and London, have been part of the Young Leaders Programme since 2010, under which they have been delivering community team projects and individual challenges that have been inspired by the Games and its values. The training programme is designed to improve their inter-personal, communication and leadership skills.
Meanwhile Arco in Hull provided protective construction clothing for those building the Olympic Park, East Yorkshire physiotherapist Lisa Wiles will be treating athletes at the Games, and a number of Olympic hopefuls were born and bred here.
One such sportsman is Alex Smith, who is ranked the UK’s number one hammer thrower and won silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. He, along with sprinter Annabel Lewis, is part of Hull’s premier team – Kingston-Upon-Hull Athletics Club.
And one of East Yorkshire’s historic sporting connections is Ebenezer Cobb Morley, the father of The Football Association (FA) and modern football. Born in Hull in 1831, Morley formed the Barnes Club, a founding member of the FA, and went on to propose a series of rules and regulations governing the sport, which until that time had been a largely disorganised pastime.
So it’s fitting that there should be such an Olympics build-up here in East Yorkshire – a buzz that is sure to continue when the torch arrives.