28 Aug 2012
On 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 was welcomed by hundreds of Essex County Council employees cheering from all four levels of County Hall as it arrived in the atrium.
On Saturday 25 August the flame travelled to the Essex celebration at King John School, South Benfleet for a Paralympic Flame Celebration jointly hosted by Essex County Council and the Lions Club of South East Essex for The Lions Midsummer Sports Day
for Disabled People. 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, Cricket, and Fun games. Other activities included, Art Workshop, Golf Zone, Fencing, and Rowing for anyone to ‘have a go. There was also entertainment from the Funky Voices Choir, live music from REWIRED—Rock and Blues Band and a collection of live street performances from The Street Team Urban Sports Performers.
Essex County Councillor Stephen Castle, Cabinet Member for Education and the 2012 Games, commented: “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 and 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 I attendance on the day was Olympic Bronze medallist and Team Essex Ambassador Chloe Rogers, she commented “ 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.”
On Sunday 26 August, the flame travelled to the Wat Tyler Country Park in Basildon where it was welcomed on stage during the Wat Tyler Festival. Thousands of people attended this family fun day and spectacular light show to celebrate this momentous, once in a life time occasion.
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 on Wednesday 29 August.