A world champion canoeist will mark the arrival of the Paralympic Lantern in the region when he brings the famous symbol across Trentham Lake later this month.
The National Flame will be paddled down the lake on Saturday August 25, 2012 by canoeist Dan Hopwood and will signify the start of the day’s events at The Trentham Estate Boat House which includes a Disabled Sports Day.
And disabled residents can also get involved by registering to attend and take part in the day’s events which include outrigger canoeing, bell boat paddling, Boccia and dodgeball.
Up to 120 disabled people will take part in various activities throughout the day where they will be able to sharpen their football skills on an inflatable pitch and take part in cheerleading and boxing workshops. The celebrations will continue over a BBQ lunch where participants will be able to watch a Dancing for the Games choreographed dance performance and end with a closing ceremony as the Paralympic Lantern departs the Boat House back across the Lake.
The event is being organised by Trentham Watersports Association in conjunction with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, StreetGames and the Trentham Estate.
The day forms one of 36 Paralympic Flame celebration events taking place in the UK and follows the success of the Olympic Torch’s visit to Stoke-on-Trent earlier in the year.
Councillor Mark Meredith, cabinet member for economic development, culture and sport, said: “Seeing the Olympic Torch running through the streets in May was a wonderful sight and showed Stoke-on-Trent’s ability to host events of an international standard. In our Mandate for Change we are looking for ways to show the world why Stoke-on-Trent is worth investing in and events of this nature and size give us the exposure needed to achieve these goals.”
“It’s now our time to welcome the Paralympic Lantern to the region and through the great work put in, in partnership with the Staffordshire County Council, Stafford Borough Council and the Trentham Watersports Association this event looks set to be just as impressive as we gear up for the Paralympics.”
John Court, from Trentham Watersports Association, added: “Trentham Watersports Association is delighted to be hosting the Paralympic Flame Celebration disability sports event. The event is a great opportunity for disabled individuals to come along and have a go at various sports. Now that Paracanoeing has been added to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro we may even uncover a future champion amongst the young people taking part.”
Staffordshire County Councillor, Pat Corfield, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities, said: “This will be a splendid event, and a great opportunity for everyone to come and be a part of the celebrations for the start of the Paralympic Games.
“I am really proud that the county will be hosting two Flame Celebration events out of only four in the West Midlands. The events at Trentham and in Cannock will be a great way of getting into the spirit of the games.”
The London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay will take place from Friday August 24, with the England Flame lighting ceremony in London, until Wednesday August 29 2012, after the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Flames from the capital cities of the UK's nations will travel to Stoke Mandeville – the home of the Paralympic Movement –and join to create the Paralympic Flame. This Flame will then be carried by teams of Torchbearers through the night to the Paralympic Opening Ceremony.
The 24-hour Relay – presented by BT, Lloyds TSB and Sainsbury’s – will see the Paralympic Flame carried 87 miles by 580 inspirational Torchbearers, working in teams of five, from Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire to London.
The Flame will travel through communities in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire before visiting a number of iconic London landmarks, including Piccadilly Circus, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street and Trafalgar Square – which will host live entertainment and sport screened throughout the Paralympic Games.
Individuals from Staffordshire will be amongst the 580 Torchbearers to carry the Paralympic Flame.
To register for a place for the event complete registration form online at www.stoke.gov.uk/paralympiclantern or telephone 01782 233222.
The England Flame lighting ceremony is followed by the Flame lighting in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday August 25, Edinburgh, Scotland on Sunday August 26 and Cardiff, Wales on Monday August 27, 2012. The four National Flames are united in Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic movement in the Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday August 28, 2012.
For all media enquiries contact Steven Kennedy in the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232987.