THE opening of the 2012 Olympics is still some way off, but Downham has got ahead of the Games.
A flag designed by 11-year-old Lilly Skeels and made by Downham High School pupils was raised above the town hall amidst a day of events to celebrate the landmark year for sports.
Frances Rayner, Active Norfolk volunteer Village Games sports co-ordinator, has teamed up with Downham Town Council to organise a string of events to mark the Olympics.
She said: “It’s such a massive occasion and in my lifetime or even that of my children I don’t think we will see it back in Great Britain. It’s a celebration of some fantastic athletes and a chance for communities to come together.
“I think the Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship are something it would be easy to incorporate into how we all live our lives.”
Lilly, a Downham Preparatory School pupil, came up with the winning flag design in a contest run at five primary schools in the town and its surround.
Her design showed Downham clock tower forming one side of Tower Bridge and will be flown at the town hall until the end of the Paralympics.
Mrs Rayner, a self-employed adult education worker, of Bridle Lane, Downham, said: “It was really creative.”
The flag was raised amidst a day of displays and stalls representing sports including ladies’ football, Jazzercise and Tai Chi.
A Downham Games event is planned for May and in July there will be a family cycle ride and treasure hunt.
West Norfolk Council’s sports development unit has already agreed a £350 grant toward the events and an application is in for a further £500 from the National Lottery Awards for All.