Aylesbury set to celebrate the Paralympic Torch Relay
Archived press release
Date Published: 01/03/12
To mark six months to go until the start of the Paralympic Games, The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) has announced that Aylesbury will host a Flame Celebration as part of the Paralympic Torch Relay.
Four Flames will be lit as part of a new concept for the Paralympic Torch Relay, one each in London, Greater Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff. Each nation will also host events celebrating the Flame Lightings.
The four Flames will be united at the Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic Movement to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame. This Flame will be carried on a 24 hour overnight Relay to London and the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games, stopping on its way, at the Aylesbury town centre Flame Celebration event.
The celebration will be held in the Aylesbury town centre on the evening of 28 August as a parallel event to the Paralympic Flame creation ceremony at Stoke Mandeville and will feature spectacular performances from London 2012 Inspire mark winning projects and public art spectaculars.
The Paralympic Flame will depart from Stoke Mandeville and begin its journey to the London 2012 Paralympic Stadium, travelling approximately 20 minutes along local roads from Stoke Mandeville to Aylesbury town centre and around the celebration event which will host up to 10,000 members of the local and regional community.
Councillor David Thompson, Cabinet Member for Leisure at Aylesbury Vale District Council, said: “The run up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is hugely exciting and we are very proud to be hosting the Flame Festival in Aylesbury Vale. Our district is playing a vital role in London 2012 and these preparations allow the people of Aylesbury Vale the opportunity to be inspired and have an active involvement in what will be an international sporting spectacle. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, so we’re pulling together our resources to ensure the Vale is really ‘going for gold’ and climbs onto the national and international podium in 2012.”
He added: “AVDC is grateful for the support of partners both locally and nationally to develop a fitting celebration for this unique occasion.”
Oona Muirhead, Nations and Regions Member for the South East commented: “I am absolutely delighted that the Paralympic torch relay itself will travel from Stoke Mandeville, to the Aylesbury Paralympic Flame Celebration where thousands more members of the communities from across Buckinghamshire and the wider South East will be celebrating the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games”.
A total of 34 communities around the country have taken the opportunity to host Flame Celebrations and be part of the programme of events that will take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Director of Paralympic Integration at London 2012, Chris Holmes, said: “We are thrilled to announce that Aylesbury will play host to a Flame Celebration. This new concept will involve people from all around the UK in the spirit of the Paralympic Movement in unique ways relevant to the area. I know that people from Aylesbury will get involved in this celebration and help ignite passion for the Paralympics across the UK.”
On Tuesday 28 August, the Paralympic Flame will be carried by Torchbearers, running in teams of five, in a 24 hour overnight relay from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The 620 inspirational Torchbearers, who will also carry the Flame during local community visits, are being chosen by the three Presenting Partners, BT, Lloyds TSB and Sainsbury’s.
There were over 3,500 nominations from across the country and they are now going through judging before the successful teams are announced in the next couple of months. The relay will also include nominations from the British Paralympic Association and the International Paralympic Committee.
People will also be encouraged to help light the way to the Paralympic Games by lighting a lantern. For more information visit www.london2012.com/get-involved/local-leaders/lantern-festival/
Over 150 schools teams from across the UK are taking part in STEM Challenge 9: The Paralympic Torch Relay Challenge, an Inspire mark project, where groups of 11 to 14-year-olds students are investigating how to create a spark by the energy of human endeavour to light the Paralympic Flame. STEMNET is shortlisting finalists, with the final taking place on Saturday 17th March at The Big Bang UK Science and Engineering Fair 2012. The winning team will receive prize money to support their school STEM Club and access to a Paralympic Torch Relay event. For more information please visit www.stemchallenges.net.
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Paralympic Torch Relay