PLANS are under way for a party to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic torch in Sheffield.
Live music and celebrity guests are being lined up for the event on Monday, June 25, which has been backed by leading athletes.
Sheffield-based table tennis star Paul Drinkall said the party will give people a ‘real feel of the atmosphere of the Olympics’.
The free, evening celebration will include music and other performances, local celebrities and dignitaries, and the arrival of the Olympic torch itself, along with activities and exhibitions.
Side events will also be held in Hillsborough Park.
Coun Julie Dore, Sheffield Council leader, has promised a ‘night to remember’.
She said: “The arrival of the Olympic Torch in the city on June 25 will be the culmination of years of work and preparation.
“We have made sure Sheffield gets every possible benefit from the Games coming to the UK. It is great to see the city recognised in this way.
“Barker’s Pool has been chosen because of its convenient city location.
“It has a capacity of 10,000, and we can confirm that the evening event will be free, so we hope as many Sheffield residents as possible will come along to witness this historic moment.
“Sheffield’s economy is benefiting from Olympics-related activity to the tune of £19 million, and last month we hosted the first major international pre-Games training camp in England, as the USA Olympic diving team came to train at Ponds Forge.
“It’s great to see the benefits of the Olympics extending beyond the capital and I cannot wait to showcase Sheffield city centre to the world.”
Paul, aged 22 and from Rotherham, who last weekend won the English national table tennis championships, will be competing in the Olympics for the first time this year.
He said: “The event will be good for the athletes based around the city and also people in Sheffield who won’t get the chance to go to the Games in London because it will give a real feel of the atmosphere of the Olympics.
“For athletes, events like this will make us even more eager to compete, because it means the Olympics are only just around the corner.”