Stoke Mandeville is to host the Heritage Flame for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on 2 September 2016. The support of the county's businesses and key organisations was a huge help in March 2014 and the Buckinghamshire Legacy Board is hoping that sponsors will step forward again for the event in 2016.
One Paralympic athlete will ignite the Heritage Flame in front of an audience of 1500 in the Stoke Mandeville Stadium, thousands more in Aylesbury's Vale Park and millions across the globe in September.
Representing the proud heritage of the Paralympic movement this single flame will travel across the world to be merged with the five Brazilian regional flames. Together they will light the Paralympic flame in Rio on September 5 and start the two-day torch relay that will arrive in the Olympic stadium for the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
Other chances to be part of this historic event
Residents are being offered a unique chance to grab a role at these historic events ceremony in September.
Flame lighting, carnival and town centre events
On the 2 September 2016, the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Heritage Flame events represents the prestige, pride and passion of the Paralympic Games and brings Aylesbury and Buckinghamshire to the eyes of the world. With an associated community programme, superb VIP hospitality and networking, plus local, regional, national and international visibility, the lighting of the Heritage Flame is more than a single, spectacular event - it is an opportunity to be part of something much bigger.
Around 100 performers will be taking part in the Stoke Mandeville ceremony, but no experience is necessary because they will be taught by experts during rehearsals.
The event will be directed by Bradley Hemmings, who was co-director of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the inaugural Paralympic Heritage Flame Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville in 2014. Stopgap Dance Company will be creating the choreography. They are passionate about bringing disabled and non-disabled people together through dance and are looking to assemble a diverse cast. Disabled participants are strongly encouraged to enquire as well as existing drama, dance or sport groups.
The Buckinghamshire Legacy programme is a not-for-profit community partnership, supported by public, private and voluntary sector organisations across Buckingamshire.
Its vision is to use Buckinghamshire’s unique selling point as the Birthplace of the Paralympic movement to provide better and more inclusive opportunities for all of our residents, businesses and visitors.
The programme builds on the momentum and once in a lifetime opportunity from the London 2012 Games to deliver this vision by transforming Buckinghamshire’s offer as a preferred centre for major sporting and cultural events, quality health and social care, accessible tourism, active business investment and the provision of bespoke education opportunities.
The first ever sporting events for disabled people were hosted at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury Vale by Dr Ludwig Guttman in 1948 and, from this spark, the global Paralympic movement was born.
We want to ensure that the place that started the Paralympic movement continues to be at its forefront, providing an environment that supports new and inclusive standards in sport, culture, health and education.
We hope that by doing this, we’ll attract new investment, develop our expertise and knowledge base and provide new and better opportunities for all residents and visitors to enjoy.
In 2014, the International Paralympic Committee gave Stoke Mandeville the honour of holding the first ever international leg of a Paralympic Games Torch relay.
As the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, Stoke Mandeville is also recognised as the home of the Paralympic heritage flame, and will host the heritage flame lighting ceremony for all future Paralympic Games
Stoke Mandeville Stadium is the national centre for disability sport.
For more information visit www.buckslegacy.org