Hundreds of schoolchildren from across the county descended on the village, held in Play Close, to mark the torch’s passing through the town in the most fitting way – a festival of different sports. The event was co-ordinated by Melton Council and involved sports clubs from across Melton and the borough.
Children were given a chance to try a raft of different sports as well as activities such as circus skills, skateboarding, and arts and crafts.
Hamilton Tennis Club held coaching sessions, while Melton RFC and Melton Hockey Club offered rugby and hockey skills. The Stilton Striders set up a running course, there was teeing off and driving tuition from Melton Golf Club, boxing tasters courtesy of Hardknocks Gym, and a football challenge set by Mowbray Rangers in the Street Stadia.
Ab Kettleby School Year 5 pupil Joseph Booth (9) is a keen footballer and likes to play street tennis with friends. He said: “I can’t wait to see the Olympic torch. If I could be in the Olympics one day I’d like to be a long-distance runner.”
Ben Core, a nine-year-old St Mary’s School pupil, is looking forward to watching the Olympic action at home on television, particularly the javelin and sprinting.
He said: “I like playing football and I like running. There’s lots to do today, but I’m looking forward to trying basketball.”
Cai Jai Clarke (8), CJ to his friends, is another football and running fan, but his early morning highlight at Play Close was of the artistic variety. The Year 3 St Mary’s pupil said: “I liked having my face painted. I wanted to get a scary face, but we didn’t have time so I had the Great Britain flag instead.”
Ab Kettleby School pupil Mia Atherley (10) is a sporty type whose all-time hero is two-time Olympic champion Seb Coe. Mia is a defender for Asfordby Amateurs Girls Under 12s and can’t wait for London 2012 to begin: “I like running and I’m really looking forward to seeing the Olympic torch.
Bethany Tearne (9) a Year 4 pupil at St Mary’s, decided not to chance it and made her own Olympic gold medal. “I love arts and crafts. Our school did street dance in a schools competition and we represented Great Britain.”
The children will take a breather from their exertions and line up along Dalby Road to cheer the torch past at about 1.45pm.