Leicester to host a Flame Celebration as part of the Paralympic Torch Relay
Posted: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 12:20
Leicester will have the great honour of being the only place in the East Midlands and one of only 33 nationally to host a Flame Celebration this Saturday as part of the Paralympic Torch Relay.
A delegation, including Deputy City Mayor Cllr Rory Palmer and Paige Murray, a local disability sports champion, will travel to London to take part in a flame lighting event on Friday 24 August. The flame will then travel back to Leicester by train in a miner's lantern with the delegation, arriving at Leicester Railway station at 1.33pm.
The flame will be stored in safe keeping overnight before it is paraded through the city centre on Saturday 25 August as part of this year's Sports Fest.
From 1.30pm, disability sports champion Paige Murray will lead a parade from Gallowtree Gate to the Big Screen area, where she will hand over the flame to Deputy City Mayor Cllr Palmer.
The parade will consist of Dhol drummers, carnival dancers and representatives from local disability sports and community groups and special schools. Once handed over to Cllr Palmer, he will conduct a short speech to formally welcome the flame to the city.
Deputy City Mayor Cllr Rory Palmer said: "We're very proud to have been selected to host the Paralympic Torch for the East Midlands. It is a real testament to our city and its commitment to disability sport. It also compliments the array of Paralympic activity we are hosting within the city and builds on our continued legacy work.
"We hope the people of Leicester will join us at the celebration event, along with some of the city's most talented athletes, to celebrate the arrival of the flame to the city."
Neil Micklethwaite, customer service and commercial director for East Midlands Trains, said: "We're really pleased to be playing our part in helping to bring the flame to Leicester. As a key city on our network, this will mark a historical day for Leicester and we're looking forward to being involved in such a significant event.
"Throughout the Olympics, we have delivered a high quality, reliable train service for our passengers and we are now looking forward to playing a key role in helping people travel to the Paralympic Games."
Sports Fest will be held at the Big Screen in Humberstone from 10am until 4pm and is free to attend.
Members of the public will get the opportunity to take part in and watch a variety of sports and cultural events as part of the day-long festival. This will include Paralympic displays and taster sessions in fencing, football and gymnastics. There will also be live music and dance acts from local performers.
In addition, people will also get the chance to race against the official Paralympic time of gold medal winner Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson on a simulated wheelchair exercise bike.
Nationally, four Flames will be lit as part of the Paralympic Torch Relay, one each in London, Greater Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
Once the flame celebrations have taken place, the four Flames will eventually 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 then be carried on a 24 hour overnight Relay to London and the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games on Wednesday 29 August.