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Olympic torch carried through Stepney Green Park by first Bangladeshi woman football referee in Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 19:06 21 July 2012 | UPDATED: 13:22 23 July 2012

Tahmina Begum carries the Olympic Torch onto the stage at Stepney Green Park.

Tahmina Begum carries the Olympic Torch onto the stage at Stepney Green Park.

Archant

Thousands of people lined the streets this afternoon as the first Bangladeshi woman football referee in Tower Hamlets carried the Olympic flame through Stepney Green Park.

After arriving from neighbouring Newham the torch began its route around the borough from Bow Road up to Mile End Road before reaching Stepney Green. Here it took a turn down White Horse Lane before reaching the park in Stepney Way where it was handed to Tahmina Begum who ran with it from the park entrance to a main stage.

Inside the park a community party was put on by Tower Hamlets Council to celebrate its arrival.

There were groups of people scattered around rather than large crowds and the park only seemed half full.

But there was a relaxed party spirit and big cheers as 19-year-old Tahmina brought the torch onto the stage.

She later told the Advertiser: “It was really nice running with the torch. It’s a very proud moment that will go down in history and it was lovely to see my parents in the crowds as I reached the stage.

“I got to hold the torch for the first time this morning as we tested how heavy it is. It was not as heavy as I thought it would be but because I’m fasting for Ramadan it was quite a pulsating run for me.”

After the torch was taken off the stage Tower Hamlets’ ceremonial mayor, Cllr Rajib Ahmed, performed a musical piece which was followed by a brief speech from the borough’s Mayor Lutfur Rahman. A variety of dance and musical performances spanning different cultures followed.

Around the park a variety of stalls offered face painting for children, recycling tips and food.

Children also played tennis and other games. A bouncy castle was also set up along with a climbing wall.

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