Cultural Olympic launch

Up to £50,000 could be spent on a sporting and cultural extravaganza in the heart of Norfolk this summer, to launch England's Cultural Olympiad. In London and across the country events are already being organised to celebrate the four years from when London takes over the Olympic torch from Beijing this August to the 2012 Olympics itself.

Up to £50,000 could be spent on a sporting and cultural extravaganza in the heart of Norfolk this summer, to launch England's Cultural Olympiad.

In London and across the country events are already being organised to celebrate the four years from when London takes over the Olympic torch from Beijing this August to the 2012 Olympics itself.

Now Breckland is to jump on board with plans for three weeks of arts and sports events which would include, in the style of television's X Factor, a Brecks Factor event.

It would all start on August 24 when the Beijing Olympics closes.


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Finer details are not available yet but the council, which will ask the leading cabinet to agree to releasing the £50,000 next Tuesday, already has a long list of proposed events.

They include:

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A Breckland marathon from Dereham to Thetford.

A Breckland Relay race - a run from school to school around the perimeter of the district.

Beach volleyball in Swaffham, boxing and inter district softball.

A big closing event with music and visuals.

A guide to getting active in the district.

Others are a Breckland Sports Awards, track an athlete, musical swimming, a charity golf day, a Breckland swimming gala, an equestrian event, cricket, bowls, shooting, an evening with a sporting star, an it's a knockout event, exhibitions, library activities and more.

On top of all this the new Dereham Leisure centre has been put forward as a training camp for a small visiting team and if successful would be promoted in the facilities guide following the close of the Beijing Olympics.

In his report to the cabinet, Joe Liggett, leisure services manager for Breckland, says: “From the moment the Beijing Games close on August 24 to the close of the Paralympic Games on September 16, a three-week programme will mark the start of an ambitious four-year programme leading up to 2012.

“The council aims to celebrate the hand over of the games and the cultural olympiad by promoting three weeks of high quality, diverse and inspirational cultural and sporting activity during the summer of 2008.”

He says the cash would help prepare, manage, organise, promote and put on events aimed at celebrating the cultural Olympiad across the district.

Although many events will be self funding, some may incur costs and some may need up front funding.

But the council hopes the events will provide a positive legacy of sport and culture in the district - including creating new clubs and community groups.

If agreed, the events will run between August 24 to September 14, with an ongoing programme after that up to 2012.

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