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Stratford Park to give tumultuous welcome to greet Paralympic Flame

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 August 2012 | UPDATED: 12:22 24 August 2012

Stratford Park in the sunshine. Picture: Melissa York

Stratford Park in the sunshine. Picture: Melissa York

Archant

Music, dancers and jugglers add to excitement

Stratford Park will be thrust into the global spotlight as the launch pad for the Paralympic Games Flame’s triumphant delivery to the nearby Athletics Stadium next week.

As main host borough for the sports spectacular, Newham Council will stage entertainment events in the park on the night of August 29.

As a tribute to the Games hosts in 2016, the Flame will be led into the park on West Ham Lane by samba music and dancers with flame jugglers adding to the excitement.

The event will mark the journey’s end for the relay, which will have seen the Flame carried 92 miles by 580 inspirational bearers over 24 hours from Stoke Manderville, Buckinghamshire, spiritual home of the Paralympic Games.

The Torch will have visited all six Olympic host boroughs, entering Newham at Barking Road from the neighbouring borough of Barking and Dagenham at around 9pm to reach the park just before 10pm.

The Flame will be created from four flames lit at the tops of the four highest peaks in the home nations – Scafell Pike in England, Snowdon in Wales, Ben Nevis in Scotland and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland on August 22.

Groups of young disabled and non-disabled Scouts will ascend the mountains and at the top they will use a ferrocerium rod and strike it against a rough steel surface to create the sparks that will light the flame.

The four individual flames will then be placed in miner’s lanterns and transferred to the nation’s capital cities where they will each become the focus for a day of Paralympic celebrations.

The flames will then be taken to Stoke Mandeville where they will be united on August 28 to create the Paralympic Flame, which will then start its relay to the Olympic Stadium.

Seb Coe, chairman of LOCOG, said: “We have created a unique identity for the Paralympic Torch Relay which will be a celebration of courage, determination, inspiration and equality that every Paralympian represents.

“By creating the four flames through human endeavour at the four highest peaks we will ensure that the spirit of each home nation is represented.

Newham Council is seeking to secure ticket opportunities for residents to go to the Paralympics through LOCOG. Any opportunities will be promoted on www.newham.gov.uk/2012Games, through their Twitter account @NewhamLondon andFacebook page.

The celebrations in Newham will continue throughout the Paralympics, starting with the visit of the Flame to the Stratford Park Live site of August 29, just before it moves into the Olympic Stadium for the Paralympic Opening Ceremony.

Residents can bring a picnic and enjoy the action on huge screens at the Live sites in Stratford Park and Central Park. The Stratford Live site will be open every day during the Paralympics from 11am to 11pm. The Central Park screen will be in action for the opening and closing ceremonies and weekends only. Weekends include family entertainment and activities.


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