Letchworth mum’s blast at London 2012 Olympics let down

A MOTHER has hit out at the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics claiming they have broken the promise made to her daughter.

When Michelle Laughton gave birth to baby Erin on December 20, 2004, she discovered that the day had been declared ‘2012 Day’ by the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), as it was the 20th day of the 12th month.

Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the bid committee, said at the time that all children born on the day that registered will be offered roles in the opening and closing ceremonies if London won the right to hold the Olympics, as part of their ‘Children’s Promise’.

Following the award of the games to London in July 2005, the Letchworth GC resident claims that now, six and a half years on, LOCOG have gone back on their promise as the 750 children signed up have instead been offered a role in the Olympic torch relay in an area local to them.

At present, the route has scheduled stops in Luton and Cambridge.

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Michelle and her husband Colin have both signed an online petition entitled ‘To Make the Olympic Committee fulfil the Children’s Promise’, which has so far gathered more than 160 signatures.

Michelle, of Oakhill, said: “They’ve gone back on their promise and it’s not fair on these 750 children.

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“Every year on her birthday she gets a card and I’ve been building it up saying she will be part of the Olympics ceremony.

“We’ve got family in Luton so we could go every Saturday - it’s not the same.

“It just seems a shame for Erin and all these children.”

A spokesman for LOCOG said: “We promised that the children would participate in one of the ceremonies or events which will take place as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The Olympic Torch Relay, which takes the Olympic flame right around the UK, will start on May 18, 2012, and will finish in the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012, when the cauldron is lit as part of the opening ceremony.

“The scale of the torch relay, with ceremonies and events all around the country over 70 days, means that it is the fairest way to involve over 700 children.

“Many of them will be involved in events and ceremonies to mark the Olympic flame passing through towns and cities close to their home towns – which means that their family and friends can watch them take part without being out of pocket.

“We have had positive feedback from lots of the parents, who are delighted that the children will play a role in a significant torch relay ceremony as the Olympic flame travels around the UK on its journey to the opening ceremony, and we will update the parents on the exact role their child will play in the summer.”

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