Today, Wednesday 22nd August, four National Flames will be created in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Groups of disabled and non-disabled Scouts will scale the highest peaks of the four home nations - Scafell, Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Slieve Donard where at the summits they will create sparks using flint rubbing to kindle the Flames. These flames will ultimately be united to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.
The Flames will be placed in miner’s lanterns and transferred to the nation’s capital cities. From 24-27 August a ceremonial cauldron will be lit in each capital city and the National Flame will become the focus for a day of Paralympic celebrations.
Flame Festivals in the form of evening celebrations, activities and entertainment will be held to encourage people to show their support, each concluding with children from each capital city forming a guard of honour with lanterns made during the Light a Lantern campaign. Eight torchbearers will carry their National Flame through the guard of honour to light the ceremonial cauldron on stage.
Each Flame will then be taken direct to Stoke Mandeville, home of the Paralympic Movement, where the four National Flames will be combined at a Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony on 28 August to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.
Following the Flame Lighting Ceremony there will be a 24-hour Torch Relay from Stoke Mandeville to London. Torchbearers working in teams of five will carry the Paralympic Flame to the Olympic Stadium to light the Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend, communities all over the UK will host Flame Celebration Events to allow local communities to celebrate the Paralympic Torch Relay in their own way, and details can be found on the London 2012 website.
Southend's Rob Womack will make his Paralympic debut at the London 2012 Games, competing in the F55 Shot Putt. Rob first got involved in the sport at the spinal unit at Stoke Mandeville after he had a disc prolapse in 2003. Since then he has represented Great Britain at the IPC World Championships, and we look forward to cheering him on at these 2012 Games.
Without a doubt the 2012 Olympics have achieved what they set out to do - 'Inspire a Generation.' There is no doubt our paralympians will continue this and after the relative sporting quiet of the last two weeks, we fully expect the excitement to be rekindled all over again.
Good luck to Rob and all our inspirational paralympians - thebestof Southend salutes you!]]>