Published on 18th May 2012

Metallic gold Olympic torch with the Olympic rings in the background (blue, yellow, black, green and red)

Over 75 twinning visitors from our five twin towns will be gathering in Cheltenham to join us in celebrating the Olympic torch coming to Cheltenham.

The delegation includes 20 officials from across our twin towns and 13 from the Lubo dance ensemble from Sochi, Russia.

Other visitors here during the torch relay include 32 guests from our German twin town on a tourist trip, nine students from the Heinrich Boll School in Göttingen visiting Bettridge school, as well as two leaders from the Göttingen youth sport exchange.

The four day visit, which takes place from Monday 21 May to Thursday 24 May, has a packed itinerary including a guided tour of the town, a reception with the Mayor, and a coach tour around the Cotswolds. A workshop has been arranged for the morning of Thursday 24 May to give delegates the opportunity to promote themselves and their business and tourism links to local businesses.

The highlight of the trip is to see the torch passing through Cheltenham, along with the main evening event at the racecourse. The Lubo dance ensemble will also be conducting a special dance performance at the evening event.

Councillor Garth Barnes, chair of the twinning association, added: “We’re delighted to have guests from our twin towns joining us to celebrate this special day. The fact all five of our twin towns are celebrating this occasion with us demonstrates just how strong our international links are. The trip is sure to help forge even stronger friendships with our twin towns and we’re delighted to be able to share this once-in-a-life-time occasion with them.”

Annette Wight, the council's twinning officer, said: “It is very rare to have representatives from all of our twin towns in the same place and the same time. And as well as celebrating the Olympic torch coming to town, we will be working hard to really make the most of our shared experiences in business and tourism.

“Local people from the business and education sectors are invited to Thursday’s event, and we hope that this will help to further promote business and tourism opportunities between our twin towns.”

For further details about the visit, please contact Annette Wight, 01242 264311,

For press enquiries contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email

Notes to Editors:
Cheltenham has five twin towns, Annecy in France, Göttingen in Germany, Sochi in Russia, Weihai in China and Cheltenham in Pennsylvania, USA, and 2 friendship towns Kisumu Kenya and Stampersgat Holland. Sochi will be hosting the winter Olympics in 2014.

Twinning workshop: ‘Business and tourism opportunities with Cheltenham’s twin towns’, 9.30am to 1.30pm on Thursday 24 May, Council Chamber, Municipal Offices, Promenade, Cheltenham.

Local business and education professionals are welcome to attend. If you would like to come to this event, please contact Richard Gibson, strategy and engagement manager, telephone 01242 235354, email