London 2012 announces plans for the Paralympic Torch Relay
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has announced plans for the Paralympic Torch Relay to lead the UK into the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on the evening of Wednesday 29 August 2012.
Presented by BT, Lloyds TSB and Sainsbury’s the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay will showcase the very best of teamwork by shining a light on those who have worked together to reach a collective goal and the amazing feats that have been achieved as a result of individuals combining their skills and abilities.
Building on the traditional Torch Relay format, the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay programme will begin on Friday 24 August 2012 with the first flame lighting event to be held in London. Over the Bank Holiday weekend, Greater Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff will each host a flame lighting moment and an evening Paralympic Flame Festival.
Each of the four flames will be lit by the energy of physical human endeavour, with each place creating its unique method of lighting. The flame lighting method for each nation will be announced closer to the time of the Paralympic Torch Relay next year.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said:
‘Day after day our Paralympians show the energy of human endeavour both on and off the sporting field of play. By lighting the flame which heralds the start of their competition through the energy of human endeavour, the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay is a tribute to their inspirational stories of courage and determination and a celebration of teamwork right across the UK.
‘Today we welcome BT, Lloyds TSB and Sainsbury’s to the Paralympic Torch Relay team as our Presenting Partners. Each of the three organisations has a great history of community involvement and we are thrilled to be working with them to ignite people’s excitement ahead of 11 days of fantastic Paralympic sport.’
Once a flame has been lit, it will visit local community groups and key locations in and around the city. In each nation, there will be a Paralympic Flame Festival, the last of which takes place in Stoke Mandeville, home of the Paralympic Movement where a special ceremony will be held to bring together all four flames to create the Paralympic Flame.
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport said:
‘The Paralympic Games next summer is our chance to change people’s attitudes towards disability. The Torch Relay will take the Paralympics to each home nation helping to build excitement for the Games and awareness of disability sport. This is our chance to welcome home the Paralympic Movement.’
In addition to the lighting events there will be a series of evening celebrations called Flame Festivals. In preparation for these Flame Festivals, lantern making workshops will be held on that day and earlier in the summer. People from all communities can participate in the Flame Festival lantern procession accompanied by specially selected Torchbearers. The Flame Festivals are public events staged by LOCOG with the assistance of the host Local Authority and will include Flame themed entertainment to be programmed by LOCOG and the Presenting Partners.
The four flames will be combined at the special ceremony at Stoke Mandeville on Tuesday 28 August to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame. Later that evening, there will be a 24 hour Torch Relay from Stoke Mandeville to journey the Paralympic Flame to London for the opening of the Paralympic Games.
580 Torchbearers working in teams of five will carry the Paralympic Flame towards the Stadium to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Details about how Torchbearers will be selected are to be announced at a later date.
Suzi Williams, Director, BT Group Marketing and Brand, said;
‘BT has a long history of supporting Paralympic sport in the UK and we're committed to raising the profile of Paralympic sport globally. The Paralympic Torch Relay is a fantastic opportunity to get involved in the build up to the Games and we want to put local communities at the heart of the celebrations.’
Sally Hancock, 2012 Partnership and Group Sponsorship Director, Lloyds Banking Group, said:
‘The Paralympic Torch Relay provides a wonderful opportunity for everyone to recognise and reward those who have supported and inspired people with disability in their community.
‘Following the success of the Lloyds TSB London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer nomination campaign, in which thousands of people nominated someone to carry the Olympic Flame, we are delighted to again extend the invitation to people across the UK to nominate someone to be part of a Torchbearer team in the Paralympic Torch Relay.’
Jat Sahota, Head of Sponsorship at Sainsbury’s said:
‘Now that the Paralympic Torch Relay plans have been unveiled, the countdown to the Games has really started. This is going to be a fantastic event and we will be giving our colleagues and customers the chance to get involved in the Paralympic Torch Relay over the coming months.
‘The vision on which the Paralympic Movement was founded complements our commitment to promote a healthier, more active lifestyle across all ages and abilities. As the first ever Paralympic Games-only sponsor, we are extremely excited about the year ahead as we seek to raise awareness of disability sport in the run up to the opening ceremony.’
Paralympic Torch Relay dates and events:
24 August 2012 - London flame lighting event
25 August 2012 – Greater Belfast area flame lighting event and Flame Festival
26 August 2012 - Edinburgh flame lighting event and Flame Festival
27 August 2012 - Cardiff flame lighting event and Flame Festival
28 August 2012 - Stoke Mandeville Flame Festival and special ceremony to bring together all four flames to create the Paralympic Flame and the 24 hour relay begins
29 August 2012 - Paralympic Flame arrives at the Stadium in time for the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games
For further information about the Paralympic Flame Festivals please go to www.london2012.com/paralympic-torch-relay