Stoke-on-Trent came to a complete standstill on Wednesday afternoon as the Olympic Parade marched into town to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Torch. The Sixth Form College proudly took part with our students representing Russia and some Performance Studies students taking part in a dance performance.
The parade, made up of 100 schools and colleges from the local area, made its way from Staffordshire University, through Shelton and into Hanley Park. Schools and colleges were each assigned a competing nation and had to design costumes and a flag to display as they made their way along the route. The students were delighted to be taking part and had a very enjoyable time.
Emma Fallows, an ex Blythe Bridge High School pupil, thoroughly enjoyed her time on the parade route. “When I heard about the parade, I was dying to get involved. This is a one time opportunity”, she said. “The weather was perfect and everybody was so happy to be there. The number of people lining the street who were cheering and taking pictures shows how important the Olympics are to people all over the country. There is so much sad news on TV these days but seeing everyone come out like this and being happy really put a smile on my face.”
Fellow participant, and our flag bearer for the day, Caitie Brown, also from Blythe Bridge, had a great day too. “It was great to see so many people lining the streets, I didn’t think that many would”, she said. “I feel more excited about the Olympics than I was before.”
Will Lawton, a former St Peter’s High School student, was another student who was jubilant about their day on the parade. “”I’m a huge fan of all sports and represent the County at rowing. I’ve always had a dream of somehow being involved in the Olympics, so to be involved in the parade was great”, he said. “We were at the front in Hanley Park when the Olympic torch arrived. It is centuries old and so to see it was fantastic. The torch has brought the Olympics to all cities and has made everyone believe that the Olympics is theirs too and that everyone can be involved. This celebration is just the start and hopefully this spirit will continue into the games themselves. We’ll probably never experience this again so let’s celebrate it now whilst we can.”
The students also went to the post-parade show in Hanley Park which featured dancers and Britain’s Got Talent finalists ‘Twist and Pulse’, and music from ‘Kids in Glass Houses’.
“Seeing Twist and Pulse was a highlight”, added Emma. “They are really good and one of my favourites from Britain’s Got Talent.”
“I was a fan of Kids in Glass Houses”, said Will, “but even more so now I’ve seen them live. I also enjoyed Twist and Pulse as well as all the activities and performances put on by local theatre groups. It was great to see everyone getting involved.”
Deputy Principal, Paul Magnall, also attended the event. “We’re really proud of our students who represented the College and our City at a time when the eyes of the world were on Stoke-on-Trent. I spoke to many of them and they enjoyed representing us, and it was fantastic to see many of the students who weren’t involved in the parade lining the streets to witness this historic event”, he said.
“The huge crowd was made up from many different areas of our community and there was a real sense that the Olympics were coming to Stoke-on-Trent. I hope that this positive atmosphere carries on into the games themselves in the summer.”