AS millions of people across the UK tune in tonight to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games, Essex County Council reflects on the county’s Paralympic Flame Celebration, hosted by Essex County Council and the Lions Club of South East Essex that took place on Saturday.
On Friday, 24 August, the Flame for the Paralympic Torch Relay, was lit in London and carried back to Essex by local Paralympian, Danny Crates, where it then travelled to the Essex celebration on Saturday at King John School, South Benfleet.
With the Paralympic values at its core, disabled people across the county were invited to participate in a variety of sports and culture activities, as well as an opening ceremony and medal presentation at the end of the day.
Those attending were able to participate in sports such as Archery, Athletics, Football, Golf, Bowls, Basketball, New Age Kurling, Petanque, Table Tennis and Cricket. Other activities included Art Workshop, Golf Zone, Fencing, and Rowing for anyone to ‘have a go’.
Essex County Councillor Stephen Castle, (pictured second right) Cabinet Member for Education and the 2012 Games, said: “It’s an honour to be able to host a Flame Celebration and be part of the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay. Such an amazing day was had by all. With our three Team Essex Ambassadors, Daniel, Hannah and Emma going for gold at the Paralympics, I hope that the people of Essex will get behind them as well as the rest of Team GB as we embark on yet another exciting and intense few weeks of sport”.
Also in attendance on the day was Olympic Bronze medallist and Team Essex Ambassador Chloe Rogers (pictured second left.)
She said: “Wow! I have had such an amazing few weeks, what with our fantastic Bronze win in London and to now come here and help kick off the celebrations for the Paralympics, I am thrilled to be involved. The people of Essex have been so fantastic in supporting me over the years; I hope they will continue this support for the Paralympics and my fellow Team Essex Ambassadors competing. I have had such a great day today and hope this enthusiasm continues well after the Games.”
The four Flames were 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 was then carried on a 24 hour overnight Relay to London and the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games taking place tonight at 8pm on Channel Four.
Pictured: Local Olympic Torchbearer, London 2012 Olympic Bronze Medallist and Team Essex Ambassador Chloe Rogers, Councillor Stephen Castle, Cabinet Member for Education, Life Long Learning and the 2012 Games and George Harris President of the Lions Club Leigh on Sea.