For one day only………..! This Saturday the Olympic Flame will traverse the Duchy on its first leg on the journey around the United Kingdom having been flown in to RNAS Culdrose on Friday under immense, almost unprecedented security. I understand many of the roads around the base will be closed off just for the plane to land!
The flame will then be carried by various runners/torchbearers passing by Helston and Falmouth before heading East towards Plymouth via Truro. Yachtsman Ben Ainslie a triple Olympic gold medal winner who learned to sail in the Carrick Roads will be the first bearer to set off from Land’s End. There will be many worthy members of the public who will carry the torch through the towns and villages along the route, including the Cornish Pirate’s captain Gavin Cattle.
Much has been said about the legacy of the Olympics be it cultural, sporting, economic or facilities. Sadly, and not for the first time, Cornwall is set to miss out totally on any such legacy.
We failed to attract any of the nations competing at the Games to set up pre-Olympic training camps in Cornwall, simply because we totally lack in infrastructure. For too long we hid behind the myth that Redruth’s Recreation Ground had the biggest capacity outside of Twickenham. The modern game requirements and Health & Safety put paid to the myth.
Despite the chronic lack of investment in stadia in Cornwall for generations, when the time has come to put right that neglect, people navel gaze and drum up every excuse under the sun not to put money into a project which will in the long-term, and that is how it must be viewed, will bring untold benefits to the people of Cornwall, not just in terms of sporting achievement but economically and socially as well.
So in this the week when the world looks to Cornwall, what a message it could give by assisting in the cost of the delivery of a sporting arena that will serve the county for many, many years to come. That would be a true statement in the Olympic spirit!