Olympic fever set to hit St Helens

Olympic Torch bearer Claire Heaton with her information pack
Olympic Torch bearer Claire Heaton with her information pack

OLYMPIC fever is set to grip St Helens on June 1 when the world-famous Olympic flame is carried through the heart of the town.

The route of the torch relay was confirmed this week and thousands of people are expected to line the streets between where it enters the borough, near Windle Island, to where it exits, on the Prescot border.

Hundreds of schoolchildren are already expected to join those lining the route, with many already involved in projects to make banners and flags.

Among the torchbearers in St Helens will be Spotlight Dance Academy teacher Natalie Corrigan, 23.

The proud mum-of-one, of Thatto Heath, said: “I was nominated by my mum, Barbara Corrigan, but never dreamt I would be picked. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m sure I will never forget.

“I was put forward because I became a dance teacher after having my daughter, Keira, when I was 19. I’ve got about 80 or 90 pupils now and have just signed a lease for my own studio on Dentons Green Lane.”

The ex Cowley pupil, who is nearing the completion of a degree in psychology, added: “I can’t wait to tell all my pupils that my application was successful. I’m sure they’ll all be just as excited as I am!”

Another torchbearer, Claire Heaton, is set to carry the Olympic flame through Burscough - but is St Helens through and through.

The 23-year-old, of Clinkham Wood, has helped dozens of youngsters via her volunteering work with the National Youth Agency.

Claire said: “I was absolutely over the moon when I found out I had been chosen. It will be the best 300 metres I’ve ever run. Although I might walk it to make sure I savour the moment - and don’t drop the torch!

“I’ve been volunteering for the National Youth Agency for about nine months now and want to dedicate this honour to them, as well as me and my family.

“They’ve helped me in more ways than anyone could ever know.”

The ex St Augustine’s pupil added: “My auntie and uncle are even set to fly over from Doha in Qatar just to cheer me on. I can’t wait!”