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1 March 2012, 10:59
It's been announced a series of Paralympic Flame Celebration events are going to take place ahead of the London Games this autumn - some will be in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Details of the Paralympic Flame relay have also been revealed. Four separate flames will be lit for the torch relay in the run-up to the start of the Paralympics before coming together in a special ceremony at Stoke Mandeville near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire - the spiritual home of the Paralympics - on 28 August 2012.
St Albans, Hertfordshire, has been revealed as one of 34 places across the country where flame celebrations will take place. A local athlete from St Albans District will be chosen to act as a Flame Ambassador and attend the Flame Lighting event in London and take part of the Flame back to the Flame Celebration in St Albans, which will happen on 25 August.
On that day, St Albans City and District Council will host the area's first Inclusive Sports Festival.
Flame celebration events are also due to take place in Bedfordshire, although the details haven't yet been released.
Pictured above right is the Paralympic torch which has been made from an aluminium alloy developed for the aerospace and automotive industry. It's been given a mirrored finish which means the torch will reflect the light of the Flame and teams of Torchbearers that carry it.
Cllr Mike Wakely, Portfolio Holder for Sports, Leisure and Heritage at St Albans City and District Council said "It is fantastic news that St Albans has been selected to play host to the Paralympic flame at what will be the first Inclusive Sports Festival to take place in the City.
"Organised by the Council, the sports festival will provide exciting, accessible opportunities for the community to be inspired by and engage in sport. It will also create an environment where local athletes can showcase their talent and mainstream sport and disability sport come together as equals.”
Chair of the Hertfordshire is Ready for Winners Board, Derrick Ashley said: "I am delighted that a community in Hertfordshire has the honour of hosting a Flame Celebration for the Paralympic Torch Relay.
"I’m sure the people of St Albans will celebrate the spirit and values of the Paralympic Movement and make it a memorable occasion for all those that live, work and visit Hertfordshire.”
Director of Paralympic Integration at London 2012, Chris Holmes, said: “We are thrilled to announce that St Albans will play host to a Flame Celebration.
"This new concept will involve people from all around the UK in the spirit of the Paralympic Movement in unique ways relevant to the area. I know that people from St Albans will get involved in this celebration and help ignite passion for the Paralympics across the UK.”
Read more about the Paralympic celebration events happening in St Albans