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Moorcroft To Bring Light To The City

Coventry’s former world record holder David Moorcroft is on his starting blocks ready to switch on the city's Christmas lights.

The former 5,000 metres world record holder will be presiding over the grand switch-on on 19 November at 5pm, and is hoping to bring some of the competitors from this year’s Olympic Games with him.

Moorcroft, who still lives in the city, competed at the Olympic Games himself and was a Commonwealth Games medallist before becoming chief executive of UK Athletics.

Liz Millett, chief executive of the City Centre Company which is organising the event, said Moorcroft would be transforming himself from guest to celebrity for the day.

"David is a well-known and hugely successful figure in the sports world and is also a Coventry kid who still lives in the city.

"He has been a guest at the last few Christmas ceremonies and this time we decided to ask him to do the honours. He said he will try to bring along some leading athletes as well so it should be a great occasion."

Moorcroft will be joined by the Lord Mayor of Coventry Sheila Collins and both will take part in the Christmas parade.

He said:

"It is a great honour to be asked and it will certainly be different being on that side of the ceremony. My family go along every year and we always have a good time so we are looking forward to it.

"I will be bringing along some local Olympian athletes and it should be a really enjoyable start to the festivities."

Around 15,000 people are expected to flood into the city centre for the event to se the lights, which have had another £40,000 spent on them this year.

Gillian Lawless, events and promotions officer for the City Centre Company, has organised the day's events and is confident of attracting another large crowd.

She said:

"The Christmas switch-on is always a highlight at this time of year. Twelve months ago we estimated that around 15,000 people came into the centre of Coventry to watch the lights go on and there was a great community feel.

"We will have music provided by Kix 96 and Mercia FM and the grand parade which will travel through High St, Broadgate, Ironmonger Row, Cross Cheaping, Trinity Street, Broadgate and then back to the start."

The parade normally involves around 30 floats of different sizes and Gillian is looking for more people to come forward and take part.

"We would love to hear from anyone who would be interested in putting a float into the parade, or, alternatively, anyone who has a lorry and driver who would be prepared to carry a float.

"The floats can be from community and youth groups or local companies and can be along any theme but hopefully on traditional Christmas lines.

“People who have entered in the past have had a fantastic time and it really kicks off Christmas in the right way.”
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CWN / Business / A-Z / City Centre Company Coventry / 31 Oct 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM