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Countdown begins for Frome’s Olympic Torch celebrations

FROME is preparing to celebrate the historic journey of the Olympic Torch, which will be carried through the heart of the town on 22nd May. The details of the route were announced last week.Thousands of people were nominated to take part in the mammoth Olympic Torch relay as it travels 8,000 miles around the UK over 70 days. All communities along the torch’s route are invited to join in the festivities.The torch will enter Frome at the junction of Marston Road and the Butts, travelling along Butts Hill, Wesley Slope and into the town centre and out along North Parade and Fromefield before heading off towards Southwick.Stuart Brown, Mendip District Council’s chief executive, said, “Tuesday 22nd May is going to be a great day in Mendip as we welcome the Olympic Torch through the district.“2012 is shaping up to be a great year for celebration and I hope that the community comes out to celebrate the Torchbearers that are taking part in this once-in-a-lifetime event as it takes place on Mendip’s streets.”A Frome woman, Philippa Vernon-Powell, has been chosen to carry the torch through Glastonbury.“I think I am still in shock that I have been selected,” said Philippa. “I was nominated by the British Embassy in Mexico City for New Life Mexico´s work and they feel it is a good example of the strong friendship between Mexico and Great Britain. “I know I will be running in the Glastonbury area on 22nd May.  I think jog may be a better word than run! We don’t get the exact details until four weeks before.“I feel very proud. My family have been living in Somerset since I was at Rode Primary School.  My time is now spent between Mexico and England.  But I do miss the facilities Frome offers when I am in Mexico.”Philippa has worked in Mexico for nine years with street children and child protection services, which led to her current post as field director for New Life Mexico, a charity focusing on improving the lives of deprived youths in Mexico City.The torchbearers were all successful nominees of a selection process run by  London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG)LOCOG has endeavoured to slot all community Torchbearers within an hour of their nomination address so family and friends can cheer them on. Each Torchbearer will wear a white and gold uniform which been designed by adidas.Sebastian Coe, chair of LOCOG added, “The Flame symbolises the Olympic spirit and its journey around the UK will bring the excitement of the Games to our streets. Now the people know the route the Olympic Flame will be carried along and the Torchbearers for their community, they can start planning how they might  celebrate and make it Mendip’s moment to shine.” An average of 115 Torchbearers a day will carry the Olympic Flame during its 8,000 mile journey around the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on 27th July for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.