Teen to be crowned youngest ‘Shining Light’

A teenager from Essex will be crowned the youngest-ever ‘Shining Light’ today as the Community Games Relay arrives at the Olympic mountain bike venue.

Thirteen-year-old Jamie-Lee Bamford from Rayne in Braintree will be honoured as a Community Games Relay ‘Shining Light’ today, Thursday July 4.

In total, 70 people from across the country are being acknowledged as ‘Shining Lights’ for the work they have done in helping to bring communities together in the spirit of London 2012 through Community Games.

Each day of the Community Games Relay - which is re-tracing the steps of the Olympic Torch Relay - a spotlight will shine on each region the Torch visited in England last year.

And on Thursday, day 47 of the 70-day Relay, it will arrive in Essex with an event being held at the Olympic mountain bike venue, Hadleigh Farm. On the day a mountain bike race will take place, involving school children.

During the event Jamie-Lee will be presented with a commemorative Community Games Relay jersey as a ‘thank you’ for the work she has done in bringing Olympic legacy to life in her area.

The teen is being recognised after she set up a BMX track at Oak Meadow in Gore Lane, Rayne, so that children in the area could enjoy cycling in a safe environment.

Jamie-Lee was inspired to get the BMX track established at the site for a Community Games event that was being hosted there, last year.

She had convinced the organisers to set up a temporary track but it was so popular, she decided to campaign to get a permanent track at Oak Meadow following the event.

The year eight pupil said she recognised the health and social benefits of the track in Rayne, for the young people, and set about raising funds herself to turn her BMX track dream into a reality for the village.

It wasn’t before long she had raised funds for the project, thanks to a grant from The Big Society as well as donations from Rayne Parish Council and Rayne Village Hall and her own fundraising efforts.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:

“The Community Games programme is about bringing friends, families and communities together through sport and cultural activities and Jamie-Lee who is the youngest Shining Light is a glowing example of this.

It is a privilege to be associated with the Relay and the people who are working really hard, all year round, so that others can keep on enjoying the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

To follow the Community Games Relay as it makes its way across the country, or to find out about organising a Community Games event or to attend one, please log on to www.communitygames.org.uk

Teen to be crowned youngest ‘Shining Light’