Cardiff to light up the skies in Paralympic celebration
The Flame Festival, presented by BT, Lloyds TSB and Sainsbury’s, will take place in Cardiff Bay on Bank Holiday Monday 27 August.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Heather Joyce said: “We’ve seen the spirits of the nation lifted over recent weeks and as the Paralympic Torch relay visits Cardiff, it brings with it another wave of excitement and elation.
“Cardiff is extremely proud to once again be a focal point for such a momentous occasion and I look forward to seeing people here turn out to show support and admiration for the Paralympians who will be competing. I know the city and its people will be warm, welcoming hosts to the 400 athletes basing themselves here during the Games.
“We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy the success of local heroes and heroines over the years, with greats including Tanni Grey-Thompson (pictured), David Roberts and Nathan Stevens.
“Cardiff Council will ensure that the legacy of London 2012 lives on and we eagerly anticipate the next generation of sports stars, inspired by the success of Olympians and Paralympians alike.”
Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture, Cllr Huw Thomas said: “Cardiff has already played a vital role in London 2012 and I am thrilled we have this opportunity to welcome the Paralympic Torch to the city before it makes its special journey.
“Cardiff is honoured to be one of only three city’s to host this unique celebration and this all-day event will give people the opportunity to be part of the Paralympic Games. Have a go at the street-based disability sports on offer in the city or to witness the fantastic lantern procession, I am sure it will inspire and entertain the whole family.”
The event is also part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week UK-wide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012, bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.
There will be free disability sports demonstrations and have-a-go sessions at the City Centre Live Site during the day with live performances in and around Wales Millennium Centre from 2pm.
The day culminates with the Flame Festival from 7pm where a spectacular lantern procession of over 200 people will accompany eight Torchbearers as the Welsh Flame will arrive in Roald Dahl Plass on its way to Stoke Mandeville, spiritual home of the Paralympic Movement.
Here it will be united with Flames from the UK’s other capital cities to create the Paralympic Flame.
The free evening event will feature a variety of entertainment including performances from Wales Millennium Centre’s own choirs Hard Côr and Only Kids Aloud, Scarabeus aerial performers, Tredegar Brass Band, a mass sing-along of Karl Jenkins’s In these Stones Horizons Sing. Charlotte Church and Only Men Aloud will also play a part in the celebrations.
The flame will go on to join a 24-hour Torch Relay which will see the Paralympic Flame carried 87 miles by 580 inspirational Torchbearers, working in teams of five, from Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire to London.
Sport.Cardiff’s very own Disability Sports Development Officer, Jo Coates- McGrath has been selected as one of the Torchbearers. Jo was nominated by Disability Sport Wales for her voluntary work with sledge ice hockey and wheelchair basketball in Cardiff as well as her contribution as a Disability Sports Officer for the past 11 years.
Cardiff is honoured to be a pre-games training camp for several Paralympic teams from South Africa, Australia and the Oceanic Islands as they make their preparations in the lead up to London 2012.
The city has been selected due to its excellent sporting facilities and infrastructure, professional approach of staff and the general friendliness of the people of Cardiff and Wales.
For more information about the Cardiff Flame Festival please visit www.cardiff.go.uk/flamefestival