Hackney gets ready to welcome Paralympic Flame
The Torch Relay starts on 24 August, with the lighting of four separate flames in London, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The flames come together to create a single Paralympic flame at the lighting ceremony at Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, birthplace of the first ever wheelchair Games in 1948. The flame is then carried on a 24 hour overnight relay to London, arriving at Hackney Town Hall at about 6pm.
Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe said:
“The Paralympic Torch Relay will be a special event for the borough. It’s fantastic that the Paralympics are generating such excitement and I have no doubt residents will welcome the torch to Hackney with the spirit and excitement that has been so evident through all of this summer’s events.
"This has already been a big summer for Hackney with the world's greatest athletes on our doorstep for the Games as well as a series of major events including the Hackney Weekend and the One Hackney Festival. We now look forward to hosting the biggest Paralympic Games ever and hopefully celebrating many more Team GB medals."
Hackney Town Hall Square will host live entertainment from 5-6.30pm. The event will be compered by comedian Steve Day and there will be dance performances from Tropical Isles and The Hoxton Singers who will be singing a selection of celebratory songs.Hackney Council is also inviting residents to get into the Paralympic spirit with four days of free sporting activity for all on Hackney Downs Park from 30 August to 2 September.
Sessions run from 12 noon to 4pm, and include a range of Paralympic sports including wheelchair basketball, badminton and tennis, as well as athletics and boccia.
Anyone over seven is welcome to take part. Participants can register on the day at the pavilion close to the children’s playground at Hackney Downs, E5 8NP. All sessions are run by experienced local coaches.
The Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, which gets underway at 8.30pm on 29 August, will be a spectacular celebration of human achievement, devised by co-artistic directors, Jenny Sealey, artistic director of Graeae, the UK’s flagship disabled-led theatre, and Bradley Hemmings. Hackney will be represented at the ceremony by Millfields school.
A record 2.1 million tickets have been sold for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, more than ever before in the event’s history. Many events have sold out but there are still tickets available at www.tickets.london2012.com.
To find out more about the Hackney's welcome for the torch see - www.hackney.gov.uk/paralympics