Thousands see the Paralympic Flame!
Published on Tuesday 28th August 2012
Thousands of people turned out in Cannock Chase at the weekend as the District hosted the Paralympic Flame with a day of special celebrations. And what a day it was!
Here are some pictures of a wonderful day for the District.
There are lots more photos on our Facebook page HERE
Huge crowds were in Cannock town centre on Saturday 25th August for the start of the Paralympic Flame relay, which saw eight inspirational local people carry the Flame through the town centre and Cannock Park to Chase Leisure Centre for a ceremony and an afternoon of celebrations.
Cannock Chase's Paralympic Flame Ambassador Olivia Wilson, a 15-year-old horserider from Cannock tipped for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, started the relay, with Craig Cornwall, Christine Kilkenny, Andrew Hodgkinson, Paul Rhodes, Daniel Burnyeat, Jack Burnyeat and Tracy Tipton also carrying the Flame.
Thousands of people followed the relay, creating a procession that grew in size as each new Flame Carrier took hold of the Paralympic Flame, announced by town crier Peter Tauton.
A moving ceremony was held at Chase Leisure Centre, with special guest Olympian David Moorcroft addressing the crowd. The former 5,000m world record holder said: "Thank you to Cannock Chase for hosting the Paralympic Flame so wonderfully and thank you to everyone for coming out. This is a brilliant crowd. The Paralympic Games are going to be everything that the Olympics were and more. They are all about people's abilities, not their disabilities. And that's what's being celebrated today."
The crowds were treated to a trampolining display by the Great Britain Disability Gymnastics Display Team and sports clubs from across the District showcased the huge number of inclusive sporting activities available in Cannock Chase.
Ambassador Olivia Wilson had attended a cauldron-lighting ceremony in Trafalgar Square on Friday 24th August and brought the Paralympic Flame back to Cannock Chase for the celebrations. She said: "It's been brilliant to be involved in this and I've had such a great weekend. I loved the Olympics and I can't wait for the Paralympic Games now."
Olivia and her family attended a special Civic Welcome for the Flame at Cannock Chase Council's Civic Centre in Cannock on Friday evening.
Cllr Christine Mitchell, Cannock Chase Council Culture and Sport Leader, said: "It was a huge honour to host the Paralympic Flame in Cannock Chase and I'd like to thank everyone who came out to see the Flame and make Saturday such a wonderful day. I was so proud of our Paralympic Flame Ambassador and all of our Paralympic Flame carriers - and I was also incredibly proud of this District. There were more people in Cannock than at the national cauldron-lighting ceremony in Trafalgar Square, so a huge thank you again to everybody for supporting the event."
Peter Burt, Executive Director of WLCT, the Council's leisure and culture partner, added: "It was an honour for WLCT and all our staff to be part of such an inspirational event in Cannock. We are proud that we could host the celebration at Chase Leisure Centre for what is such a momentous national event, but also that we were able to showcase all the hard work that our Community Wellbeing teams have been undertaking for many years to ensure that sport and leisure activities are truly available and inclusive for all members of the community in Cannock Chase."
The Paralympic Flame will be displayed at Chase Leisure Centre in Stafford Road, Cannock, until the end of Tuesday 28th August, when it will be extinguished as the national Paralympic torch relay gets under way in Stoke Mandeville, leading to the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium on 29th August.