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Flame of Friendship finale – the Olympic inspired celebration bringing together over 700 local children in flash mob style parade

Flame of Friendship Finale Parade

Over 700 school children and teachers from across Coventry came together at the University of Warwick today for the grand finale of the Flame of Friendship project.

The event, hosted at the University’s Sports and Wellness Hub, brought 63 schools together in a colourful and lively parade inspired by the upcoming Paris Olympics, including a flash-mob like performance of an Olympic themed dance choreographed by the Royal Opera House.

The Flame of Friendship project was a Coventry schools activity led by Earlsdon Primary School and supported by the Warwick Institute of Engagement on behalf of the University of Warwick. The event celebrated friendship, team work, sports and international collegiality, and has had multiple opportunities for people from schools, the community and the University to get involved.

A custom-made Olympic-style torch was designed especially for this event as part of a competition that over 2000 children took part in. The winning design from Finham Park School was then bought to life thanks to the team at WMG and T Level students from Rugby College.

Kerry Baker, Assistant Director at the Warwick Institute of Engagement said, “This project has all been about sharing the spirit of the Olympics; international relationships, and sharing culture and ideas, all and coming together in a wonderful display of regional collaboration. Working with the local schools has been a joy and to see it come together for today’s finale event is brilliant.”
Flame of Friendship torch
Whilst the Olympic torch travels the world, the Flame of Friendship travelled across 63 schools, starting at Coventry Cathedral in February, and finishing at the finale event on campus.

The performance was then followed by all 700+ attendees taking part in a vibrant and colourful parade to the Sports and Wellness Hub for the closing ceremony, with speeches from the Mayor of Coventry, Leader of Coventry City Council, and Pro-Vice Chancellor Michael Scott.

Rebecca Bollands, Headteacher at Earlsdon Primary School who has led the project said, “It feels wonderful to see the project come to an end. It’s brilliant to see all the schools, the Royal Opera House, and the steel band join us for the final day. We’re so grateful to the University for their fantastic support and for being able to host for the finale parade.”

To ensure that all 63 participating schools could share in the excitement, the event was live-streamed, allowing students and teachers who were unable to attend in person to join in virtually. Additionally, a recording of the parade and closing ceremony will be made available as a permanent keepsake, ensuring the memories of this remarkable project can be cherished for years to come.

Flame of Friendship paradeProfessor Michael Scott, Pro Vice Chancellor (International) said, "At the University of Warwick, we are thrilled to welcome over 700 local children to our campus to celebrate the power and importance of international collaboration and cultural exchange embodied in the upcoming Olympics.

This event was a wonderful opportunity to witness the joy and enthusiasm of children as they learn about and appreciate the diverse cultures from countries across the world coming together. This celebration, delivered by the Resonate festival team, also forms part of the University’s new Marco Polo International Programme, which underscores our commitment to fostering global connections and understanding."


Notes for editors

Video Footage Available
Handheld and drone footage from the finale event and the launch event are available on request.