London mascots celebrate birthday

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The London 2012 Olympic mascot Wenlock and Parlaympic mascot Mandeville took time out of their busy schedule to celebrate their first birthday on 19 May 2011.

The mascots enjoyed a special birthday party at John Lewis Oxford Street in London attended by London 2012 table tennis hopeful Hannah Hicks and children from Kilburn Park Foundation School, who are part of the Get Set network – the official London 2012 education programme. The dynamic duo have had a busy year on their journeys across the UK, meeting young people and inspiring them to choose sport as they head towards the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The mascots have attended more than 200 events across the UK in the past year, many at schools in the London 2012 education programme Get Set, taking part in schools sports days and special Olympic and Paralympic related assemblies. Wenlock and Mandeville have also been popular features at London 2012 sponsor events such as Lloyds TSB National Sport Week, the BT Paralympic World Cup and through Deloittes school programme. They also recently celebrated the Royal Wedding by dressing up as a Beefeater and Queen's Guard in a special mascot hunt around London. Wenlock and Mandeville are also proving an online hit. The first two mascot animated films, based on a story by childrens author Michael Morpurgo with music recorded by the National Youth Orchestra, have been viewed over 1m times on the mascot website www. london2012. com/mascots and www. youtube. com/london2012. Over 20, 000 people follow the mascots via Facebook and Twitter and fans of Wenlock and Mandeville are also engaging with digital versions of the mascots with new innovative and interactive computer games. A mascot customiser that allows users to create their own versions of Wenlock and Mandeville with different clothes and sports equipment has proved particularly popular and nearly 10, 000 versions have been customised for the online gallery since launched in March 2011. The colourful characters are also popular on the high street, helping to contribute to the £80m to be raised from merchandise and licensing to fund the staging of the Games. Wenlock and Mandeville are available as soft toys, stationary, clothing, key rings, pin badges, posters, collectable figurines, decorative ornaments, bags, mugs, towels, bedding from the online shop at London2012. com, the London 2012 Shops at St Pancras International, Paddington Station, Heathrow Terminal 5 and official retailers including John Lewis, Next and Sainsburys. More mascot products will be released between now and Games time, when there could be up to 10, 000 London 2012 products available. " Our mascots were designed for kids and were delighted that they love Wenlock and Mandeville and are interacting with them in so many ways, " said London 2012 chair Sebastian Coe. " The London 2012 mascots are on a journey across the UK inspiring young people to choose sport, and engage with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in a fun and exciting way. " Wenlock and Mandeville have also been giving a helping hand to teachers and pupils in schools across the UK featuring on a range of new resources available to schools through the London 2012 education programme. Assembly packs and activity sheets have been made available to the 18, 000 schools which are registered with Get Set to help support teaching and learning across the curriculum, with a particular focus on literacy and the Olympic and Paralympic Values in primary schools. Many teachers have used them as the basis of projects and activities which demonstrate a commitment to the Values to earn the school an allocation of tickets to the Olympic and Paralympic Games through the London 2012 Ticketshare scheme. The launch of the mascots in May 2010 saw the Get Set website recorded a new traffic record and more than 50, 000 teachers and students have viewed the Get Set website pages featuring the mascots since they launched. More than 2, 500 schools from every nation and region in the UK entered a recent art and design competition, Make Your Mascot, which will see the Wenlock and Mandeville visit the sports days of winning schools throughout this summer. In other London 2012 news, with one year to go until the Olympic Flame arrives in the UK, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has revealed the dates and locations for the evening celebration events and island visits on the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay route. The announcement of these events and visits is the first stage in confirming the route the Olympic Flame will take around the UK. The Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece and the 70 day Olympic Torch Relay which is presented by Coca–Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung will start at Lands End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012. On leaving Lands End, the Olympic Flame is expected to travel an estimated 8, 000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to a place near them. The Olympic Flame will arrive at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8, 000 inspirational Torchbearers and once the detailed route is confirmed later this year, it is estimated that 95% of the population will be within a one hour journey time of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. Over the past year LOCOG has worked with representatives from a number of sectors in each Nation and Region to devise this first phase of the route. In addition to the first 74 locations confirmed on the route today, many other cities, towns, villages and places of outstanding natural beauty, sports venues and community hubs will be announced in a second, more detailed route announcement later this year that will confirm the many other places the Olympic Flame will visit each day. The Olympic Flame will travel for approximately 12 hours each day, concluding on 66 of the 70 days with an exciting early evening celebration event that will enable thousands of people each evening to enjoy a variety of entertainment and shows staged by LOCOG and the three Presenting Partners with the support of the host Local Authority. Each celebration event will differ with locally programmed content on the stage which will add to the celebratory atmosphere. Many thousands more people are expected to celebrate along the route each day. Also confirmed today are six island visits to the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Shetland, Orkney and the Isle of Lewis where a community led celebration to welcome the Olympic Flame will be held and Torchbearers will run in relay. The London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer nomination programme has also launched. Together with the three Presenting Partners – Coca–Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, LOCOG is seeking 8, 000 of the most inspirational people to have their moment to shine next summer by carrying the Olympic Flame. Sally Hancock, director, 2012 Partnership and Group Sponsorship at Lloyds TSB, said: " As the only National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB is bringing the Olympic Flame closer to communities across the UK. We are inviting everybody to share the journey and nominate someone who has made a difference to their local community to carry the Olympic Flame. Schools and young people will have the chance to carry the Flame through National School Sport Week and our Local Heroes programme, and everybody is invited to celebrate the Relay with Lloyds TSB when it comes to their town in 2012. " LOCOG has also announced the following Supporting Partners of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay: Worldwide Olympic Partner Visa, Tier One Partners BMW, BT and EDF Energy, Tier Three Providers Aggreko and Holiday Inn. More details of their involvement in the staging of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay will be released over the coming year.

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