Olympic bosses order circus charity event to change name

Name change: Megan Flynn, of Greentop Circus, amends the name of the charity's cabaret night after Olympic bosses objected.

Name change: Megan Flynn, of Greentop Circus, amends the name of the charity's cabaret night after Olympic bosses objected.

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SHOCKED charity chiefs were warned to change the name of two fundraising events – because they had been themed with the word ‘Olympic’.

Volunteers at Greentop Community Circus in Sheffield had named a monthly fundraising cabaret and end-of-term youth show after the ancient Greek spectacle on the circus’s website.

However, when LOCOG, the London 2012 organising committee, found the details, officials asked for the references to be removed.

An email to the circus said Greentop was benefiting from an ‘unauthorised association’ and infringed rights under The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006.

It said if the promotion continued ‘the rights we can offer to our sponsors would be undermined’.

Craig Gamble Pugh, of Greentop, said: “At first I thought my colleagues were clowning around.

“We have tried to uphold the spirit of this incredible sporting event while keeping to the letter of the rules, and to have been clamped down on in this way is disappointing and seems disproportionate.”

Among the marks protected are the Olympic symbol, London 2012 mascots and the words ‘Olympic’ and ‘Paralympic’.

Schools who join the games’ Get Set network and community groups running Inspire projects are allowed to use the brand.

The cabaret next Saturday, July 14, will go ahead, but called the ‘Sports Day Cabaret’ instead.

Megan Flynn, venue director, said: “We considered cancelling, but felt that would be an unsporting thing to do, so we hope people will appreciate the new theme and come along in their athletics gear to help us raise funds and have a great night.”

James Harkness, who manages Greentop’s events and social enterprises, said: “We are happy to clarify that Greentop Circus is not an official sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and that neither the charity, nor any of the themed acts and performers on our website, are in any way connected to the Olympics.

“Greentop has been a passionate advocate of the Olympic spirit.

“We share the same aims to encourage people to take up physical activity, especially young people.

“Our hope is that incidents like this do not dampen the spirits of those who wish to support and celebrate this momentous occasion.”

LOCOG said the word Olympic was copyrighted and Greentop events violated that.

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