Olympic torch relay: Day 30

Paul Collingwood carries the torch through Durham Image copyright PA
Image caption Former England cricket captain Paul Collingwood was the first torchbearer of the day in Durham

The Olympic torch continues its stay in the North East of England today, travelling from Durham to Middlesbrough and School Reporters have been investigating the story of the Games and telling the tale of the torch!

School Reporter Bethany from The Academy at Shotton Hall has reported on the excitement generated by the torch's arrival in Peterlee.

And School Reporters across the North East have been busy reporting on the Games and the impact it will have on an area several hundred miles from the focus of attention in London.

Relight my Fire!

School Reporter Bethany, from Year 7 at The Academy at Shotton Hall has written this report about the "excited" atmosphere of the crowd as the torch passed through Peterlee.

"On Sunday 17 June, the Olympic torch passed through Peterlee before making its way to Horden. People gathered outside the EDC and beyond to catch a glimpse of the Olympic Torch.

"Many people also gathered to watch a group of primary schools children who had the honour of singing when the torch went past. They had already performed in Sunderland City space in a build-up celebration for the visit of the torch.

Image copyright School Report
Image caption The School Reporters' teacher, Miss Reid, meets a torchbearer

"By half past eleven, the streets were thick with people waiting for a glimpse of the torch. As the torchbearer ran past, the excited crowd waved flags and cheered. When the torch was coming nearer the police came past on motorbikes high-fiving the crowd, which caused much laughter among the spectators.

"Just before the actual torch, a policeman came past with a pretend one which made people laugh, especially the parents.

"After a few seconds, there was a sudden massive cheer and the flame could be seen in the distance. A vast array of buses came past handing flags whilst people danced on the top. The best bus was the massive blue Samsung bus with a huge cinema screen blaring out music.

"After the procession, the Olympic torch came ever nearer and people waved flags and cheered. The torchbearer waved and he held the torch in the air in recognition of the harmonies of the Olympic choir, who sang as the proud torchbearer ran past."

How will the Olympics affect the North East and Cumbria?

On News Day in March, regional news programme BBC Look North featured a report from pupils from Ingleby Barwick who visited the Olympic Park in London and interviewed London 2012 chief Lord Coe.

Lauren and Tabatha, both aged 13, from All Saints School, took part in School Report's Olympic Park broadcast and asked Lord Coe about whether the Olympics will leave a legacy in the North East.

The former Olympic gold medallist admitted that it was more of a challenge to bring the Games to life further away from London, but insisted that there would be a tangible legacy.

"The further you get from London , the greater the creativity is," he said.

"People are doing creative things that are really making the Games live: some of the things that are happening in schools, understanding the values, some of the project work and sports participation programmes - it's all happening in a dramatic way."

Sky Sports Young Leaders Award

Talented students at Shotton Hall Academy are taking part in the Sky Sports Young Leaders Award, being co-run by former Olympic swimmer Chris Cook.

School Reporter Katie interviewed Jessica who is taking part in the programme which helps to build up organisational and communication skills so that pupils can eventually run their own sporting activities outside of school.

She said she enjoys the programme as it gives her more confidence to achieve her goal of becoming a sports coach.

Is the Olympic budget too high?

Pupils from St Hilds School investigated the increasing controversy over the expanding Olympic budget. They questioned the benefits to their local area and the view that "northern people's money seems to be wasted in something that not many northerners will be visiting".

And School Reporters James and Oliver interviewed the Olympic co-ordinator for North Hartlepool who works with other schools in the area to help young children learn about the cultural side of the Olympics and its long-term impact. He also hopes to generate more interest in sport.

Ormesby's own Paralympic hopeful

School Reporters from Ormesby School interviewed Year 11 student Jade who participates in wheelchair racing.

She told them she was inspired to get involved with the sport by the school's sports day and hopes she'll one day get the chance to play for Great Britain in the Paralympic Games.

Although it seems she's certainly in the best place to achieve that, the school also boasts Paralympic record breaker Kenneth Churchill as a former pupil!

And pupils from Macmillan Academy report on a rather unusual spectacle down at Saltburn Pier where an anonymous crafter has knitted a 50m long scarf featuring figures playing a range of different Olympic sports. They find out the public's opinion on the bizarre display.

Don't forget...

The BBC's torch relay website at www.bbc.co.uk/torchrelay is the perfect place to keep across everything, watch the torch's journey continuously and get full details of the route.

For tips on reporting the Olympic torch relay, visit our special learning resource for some advice on how to cover it when it comes to your area.

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