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Local Leaders get set to celebrate London 2012 Games

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has now launched its initiative to help individuals within communities play an active role in people together to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to the UK this summer.

The London 2012 ‘Local Leaders’ will suggest to people ideas and tools to bring their friends, family and communities together to help make the most of the London 2012 Games by creating celebrations for their village, town or City around the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays, the 12 week UK-wide London 2012 Festival, or the Olympic and Paralympic sports action.

Anyone planning an event in Herefordshire is encouraged to sign up to be a Local Leader at www.london2012.com/localleaders and play an active part now in preparing their community for international attention when the Torch arrives in the UK.

In Ledbury, Local Leader Bob Barnes is busy with his team of 2, Mayor Allen Conway and deputy clerk to the council, Diane Baldwin, planning a day to remember when the Torch arrives. They have organised a schools concert, in the High Street, to take place after the Torch passed through, making this unique occasion, a day to remember.

During the concert pupils from the local schools will parade Ledbury’s own torch, designed by Ledbury Primary pupils and built by a local blacksmith. We hope this will encourage local residents to line the streets when the Torch travels through Town on 24 May.

"Being a Local Leader is a fantastic opportunity to get everyone out to see the Torch Relay and start to build the excitement towards the Games in July. I encourage others to sign up if they are planning activities throughout the Games, it's a great way to be involved".

Once the Olympic Torch flame arrives in the UK on 18 May, Local Leaders are provided with ideas and tools to help bring the community together to welcome the flame and celebrate their local heroes by lining the streets and showing what makes their community special for the 70 day UK wide relay.

By signing up, Local Leaders will get access to London 2012 branding, posters and toolkits for events throughout the Games. Whether the Local Leader invites three friends or their whole community, London 2012 will provide them with the tools to make their celebration one to remember create opportunities for people across the UK to join in.

They will also be able to put their celebration events on the London 2012 Join In listings website, giving local community celebrations exposure on what will be one of the most visited websites in the world this year.

Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair, said: ‘Local Leaders are brilliant organisers in every community around the country and play an active role in celebrating national events at a local level. Through this programme Local Leaders will help provide opportunities for everyone around the UK to join in with the London 2012 Games.’

David Moorcroft, Chair of West Midlands for 2012 said: “Local Leaders is a terrific initiative by London 2012 – and I’m already amazed at the enthusiasm and scale of ambition shown by people across the West Midlands who have picked up the Local Leaders baton so far.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for people to be a part of London 2012 and have their own Olympic moment here in the region and we look forward to hearing people’s stories through www.thegamesandme.com.”

“There's a lot of anticipation for the 2012 Games - and that excitement will only grow. It's already fostering a sense of community, whatever age you are. The Games are about so much more than sport.”

Games organisers are putting the call out to the whole nation to encourage individuals who are keen to play an active role in their friendship group, street or community in celebrating the Games this summer to sign up at www.london2012.com/localleaders.