London 2012 takes Paralympic Torch Relay to new heights
With two weeks to go to the Paralympic Games, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has today announced how the Paralympic Flame will be created and the street level route that it will take during the 24 hour overnight Relay from Stoke Mandeville to London.
On Wednesday 22 August, using a combination of teamwork and human endeavour, National Flames will be created at the summit of the highest peaks of the four home nations: Scafell Pike (England), Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa (Wales), Ben Nevis (Scotland) and Slieve Donard (Northern Ireland).
Groups of young disabled and non-disabled Scouts from communities near to the peaks will ascend the mountains, and at the top they will use a ferrocerium rod and strike it against a rough steel surface to create the sparks that will light the flame. The four individual Flames will then be placed in miner’s lanterns and transferred to the nation’s capital cities where they will each become the focus for a day of Paralympic celebrations.
From the Paralympic celebrations in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, the four National Flames will be taken to Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic movement, where they will be united during a special ceremony on Tuesday 28 August to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: ‘We have created a unique identity for the Paralympic Torch Relay which will be a celebration of courage, determination, inspiration and equality that every Paralympian represents. By creating the four Flames through human endeavour at the four highest peaks in the UK we will ensure that the spirit of each home nation is represented in the Paralympic Flame. Today we invite people to show their support for the Paralympic Torch Relay, whether it’s taking lanterns along to a Flame Festival or Celebration, supporting a Torchbearer or getting together to line the route of the 24 hour relay and help us lead the way to the Paralympic Games.’
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, said: ‘After a fantastic Olympic Games we are now looking forward to what we hope will the best ever Paralympic Games. The UK is the birthplace of the Paralympic movement and London’s Games will show the world how just amazing and inspiring elite Paralympic sport can be.’
In the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay, 116 teams of five Torchbearers will carry the Flame from Stoke Mandeville to London. The teams have today been notified which street they will be carrying the Paralympic Flame along so that they can plan for their friends and family to come and cheer them on. They were selected through public nomination campaigns run by BT, Lloyds TSB and Sainsbury’s, as well as the British Paralympic Association, the International Paralympic Committee and other London 2012 sponsors. Whether they have been together for years, or been brought together around a common story, each team represents the Paralympic values.
Starting at 8pm on Tuesday 28 August, the 24-hour overnight relay route will see the Paralympic Flame carried 92 miles by 580 inspirational Torchbearers, working in teams of five, from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium to officially open the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The Relay will travel through some of the communities of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, before visiting all six host boroughs and a number of London landmarks. These include:
· 8.18pm – A team of Torchbearers nominated through the Lloyds TSB campaign will carry the Paralympic Flame to the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville. This includes Philip Tew, 37-years-old, from Aylesbury, who is a keen wheelchair basketball and badminton player who has represented Great Britain. He was nominated for being an inspiration to others through his coaching of aspiring athletes.
· 8.47am – A team of Torchbearers nominated through the Sainsbury’s campaign will carry the Paralympic Flame across the famous Abbey Road crossing. This includes Chris Tattersall, 59-years-old, from Clitheroe, who registered blind in 1993 but then went on to learn brail and now teaches it voluntarily at five centres across East Lancashire.
· 9.02am – A team of Torchbearers nominated through the BT campaign will carry the Paralympic Flame at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The team is made up of five members of the UK’s first blind women’s cricket team, who have been inspired to be more confident and ambitious.
· 9.37am – A team of Torchbearers nominated through the BT campaign will carry the Paralympic Flame at London Zoo. The team is made up of five previously unemployed individuals with disabilities including spinal cord injury, blindness and impaired mental health that have trained and qualified as fitness gym instructors.
· 10.49am – A team of Torchbearers nominated through the Lloyds TSB campaign will carry the Paralympic Flame through Piccadilly Circus. This includes Pamela Galloway, 62-years-old, from Somerset, who was nominated for the time and dedication that she gives to teaching young disabled children how to swim.
· 1.12pm – A team of Torchbearers nominated through the Lloyds TSB campaign will carry the Paralympic Flame over Tower Bridge. This includes David Walkerdine, 74-years-old, from Nottingham, who was nominated by Paralympian Richard Whitehead, for his inspirational coaching sessions that had such a positive influence in helping become the athlete that he is today.
· 6.20pm – A team of Torchbearers nominated through the Sainsbury’s campaign will carry the Paralympic Flame to Hackney Town Hall. This includes Michael Mcgrath, 47-years-old, from Buntingford who was nominated for the way that he coped with being diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 18-years-old and how he has not let it stop him from leading a normal life.
· 7.30pm – A team of Torchbearers nominated through the BT campaign will carry the Paralympic Flame into the Community Celebration in Marsh Lane Playing Fields, Waltham Forest . The team of five are PE teachers at Davenant Foundation School and were nominated for their dedication to teaching paralympic sports which resulted in a Boccia team coming 3rd at the National Boccia Championships last year.
· 9.57pm – A team of Torchbearers nominated through the Sainsbury’s campaign will carry the Paralympic Flame into the Community Live Site at Stratford Park, Newham. This will include Argyle Bird, 13-years-old, from Hull, who has not let his disability get in the way of him taking part in sport and has been selected as a role model to others at his school.
A list of the Torchbearer stories is available here.
For more information about the Torchbearers, go to: http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/torch-relay/torchbearers/
For full details of the route, please go to: http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/torch-relay/route/
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: ‘After the spectacular success of the Olympic Games, London is now gearing up for a record-breaking Paralympic Games, which is already on track to be a sell-out for the first time ever. The Paralympic Torch Relay is the perfect moment to get your flags back out and get behind the incredible athletes taking part as the excitement builds once again right across the capital.’
People are being encouraged to show their support for the Paralympic Torch Relay. Whether it’s taking lanterns along to a Flame Festival or Celebration, supporting a Torchbearer or getting friends together to line the route of the 24 hour relay, everyone is encouraged to get involved. For further information about how to get involved, go to: http://www.london2012.com/lightalantern
Local Leader Sandra Maizels in Aylesbury has organised an avenue of light as the Paralympic Torch Relay comes through her local area on 28 August. The local children are making lanterns in advance and they will light up their gardens as the torch passes through their village.
Each of the four capital cities will host events for people to get involved with the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay. This includes:
Friday 24 August – London
· English Flame to light the ceremonial cauldron in Trafalgar Square
Saturday 25 August - Belfast
· Northern Irish Flame to light ceremonial cauldron outside Stormont
· Flame Festival including lantern procession outside City Hall. Tickets for this free event are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre, Donegall Place, on a first come, first served basis. Tickets are limited to four per person.
Sunday 26 August – Edinburgh
· Scottish Flame to light ceremonial cauldron on The Mound
· Flame Festival including lantern procession at Meadowbank Sports Centre. Tickets for this event are free and available at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/paralympicflamefestival
Monday 27 August – Cardiff
· Welsh Flame to light ceremonial cauldron outside City Hall
· Visits to Rockwood Hospital, House of Sport Coaching Academy and the Live Site
· Flame Festival including lantern procession in Roald Dahl Plass. This is a free, non ticketed event.
The London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay is being presented by BT, Lloyds TSB and Sainsbury and they will provide a variety of entertainment during the six days.
As a proud sponsor of the Paralympics, BT will be providing entertainment on the main stage at the festivals with a high energy drumming team getting the crowd going at Edinburgh, Cardiff and Stoke Mandeville and an amazing flame and acrobatics display lighting up proceedings in Belfast. There will also be an interactive BT area where visitors can have their photos taken with a Paralympic Torch, sign their good luck message to Team GB on a huge signing wall, pick up a supporters flag and listen to BT’s steel drumming band The Melodians.
On the Paralympic Torch Relay there will be a BT custom designed vehicle at the spearhead of the procession which will be playing music, giving out supporter flags and introducing the Torchbearers to the crowd.
Suzi Williams, Director, BT Group Marketing and Brand, added: ‘At BT we understand the power of Paralympic sport to inspire people, that's why we've brought teams together to run with the Paralympic Torch. This is their moment to be at the heart of a once in a lifetime experience.’
As Presenting Partner of the Paralympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB is proud to be bringing the inspiration of the Paralympic Games closer to customers and communities across the UK with a unique fusion of street performance, theatre and sport from the Lloyds TSB Flame Followers, who will inspire and excite crowds at each Flame Festival Celebration with a performance that celebrates the endeavour, athleticism, agility and skill of ParalympicsGB, our national Paralympic sporting heroes.
Visitors to the Lloyds TSB site at each Flame Festival can have their photo taken with the Paralympic Torch, meet Lloyds TSB Local Heroes – local future stars of Team GB and ParalympicsGB – and get up close to the Flame Followers.
Sally Hancock, Director, London 2012 Partnership at Lloyds Banking Group, said: ‘We are looking forward to bringing the excitement of the Paralympic Games to Flame Festivals around the UK and communities along the 24 hour Paralympic Torch Relay route to London. We are immensely proud of our inspirational Torchbearers who will be running in teams of five celebrating their phenomenal achievements within the community. We are calling on everyone to come to the Flame Festivals and line the route to cheer on our Paralympic Torchbearers as they make their way to London in this unique relay.’
Sainsbury’s, the first ever Paralympic Games only sponsor, will be hosting a specially created Paralympic Flame lighting experience at each of the Flame Festivals in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Stoke Mandeville. Attendees will be able to light the Paralympic Cauldron with a ‘virtual flame’ through an interactive video and then will be given a unique code to download the video and share with their friends through social media channels.
The retailer will also be hosting the opportunity for all those going to the Flame Festivals, including Belfast, to have their photo taken with the Paralympic Torch, as well as activities for children including face painting, balloon modelling and more.
Former X Factor and Pop Star To Opera Star winner Joe McElderry will also be performing onstage to entertain the thousands of excited Paralympic Games supporters.
Jat Sahota, Head of Sponsorship, Sainsbury’s commented: ‘We are delighted to be partnering the Paralympic Torch Flame Festivals – giving even more Sainsbury’s customers and colleagues the chance to get involved in the Paralympic Games. We will be hosting Torchbearers at each Flame Festival, including the winners selected from the Million Kids Challenge, and are excited that so many customers and colleagues are helping us to make this the best Paralympic Games ever.’
As well as the Flame Festivals, 38 communities from across the UK have taken the opportunity to host Flame Celebration’s over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Each community will send a Flame Ambassador to a capital city to collect part of the national Flame, which will then form the centre piece of the Flame Celebration. Each event will be unique and have a flavour of the local area but will have the Paralympic values at its core. To find a celebration near you, visit http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/torch-relay/route/
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