Countdown To The Paralympic Games

The Paralympic Games take place between 29 August and 9 September, with the sailing events getting underway off the south coast from 1-6 September.

The offical torch relay begins on Friday 24th August, but the only place on the south coast it will visit is Weymouth on Monday 27th August, where the sailing events get underway on Saturday 1st September.

Paralympic torch

The 'Flame Festival' in Weymouth is taking place on the bank holiday Monday, August 27th.


Weymouth Pavilion, Weymouth
ICCI360 Arena
The Esplanade
South West


3:30 PM - 10:00 PM


A celebration of disabled sporting achievements and highlighting the important work of local disability organisations. This event will coincide with Weymouth and Portland's annual Bank Holiday celebrations, including a host of live music, entertainment and spectacular firework displays. 

MEANWHILE The London 2012 Paralympic Games will take place between 29 August and 9 September. 

The Paralympic sailing events will be held in Portland Harbour’s breakwaters from 1-6 September. 

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council's brief holder for tourism and culture, Cllr Ian Bruce said: 

"This will be a fantastic festival of sailing, arts, theatre, music and fun. There is plenty for everyone to enjoy on top of this wonderful sailing competition which promises to give even more medals to our sailors. 

“Weymouth and Portland is already enjoying a welcome boost for new visitors by both land and sea. The continued media spotlight is showcasing our superb countryside and coast to Britain and the rest of the world.”  

The focus for the Paralympic Games in Weymouth and Portland will be the ICCI 360 Arena, which as well as the flame celebration, will host: 

-A wide variety of cultural events taking place as part of the Maritime Mix Cultural Olympiad (see programme below) 

-Closing ceremony celebrations 

The free beach sports arena, which was a huge success during the Games, will offer accessible Paralympic sports so people of all abilities can come and try something new. 

The arena will be open from 1-7 September but will be closed to the general public on 6 and 7 September between 11am and 2.30pm due to a pre-arranged group booking.

Coaching manager Clive Nelson from Active Dorset said:

"Building on the success of the Sports Arena during the Olympics we’re moving along to the Pavilion end of Weymouth Beach. Supported by Sport England, we will be offering seated volleyball, wheelchair basketball, canoeing, sailing and sea kayaking. We’ll also have boccia, which is a tough test of nerve, tactics and skill and is similar to boules or petanque.

"The arena will give everyone a special and free chance to experience sports they wouldn’t normally see or be able to try. It’ll be great fun for all the family and a way to really share in the Paralympics atmosphere."

Visitors will be able to view the Paralympic Sailing competitions from a number of vantage points around the coast, including parts of the Rodwell Trail, Sandsfoot Gardens and Hamm Beach from the Chesil Beach Visitors Centre and car park. 

Other activities on offer will include Ramblers Association guided walks and cycle rides and boat trips to and from Weymouth Harbour. 

Innovative and exciting arts events will be held during the Paralympic Games as part of the Maritime Mix Cultural Olympiad by the Sea. Events, some celebrating the diverse achievements of people with disabilities, include:

* ‘Creating the Spectacle’ - a free ground breaking performance by artist Sue Austin in her self-propelled underwater wheelchair. The show will be held at Osprey Leisure Centre, Portland, from 29 August to 1 September and screened at the ICCI360 Arena on 29 August. 

* ‘b-side’ - a multi-media arts festival on until 9 September, with art and performances in surprising places including bus stops, pubs, churches, alleyways, shops a castle and the ICCI360 Arena. 

* ‘Inside Out Dorset’ from 31 August – 9 September presents extraordinary events in extraordinary places including ‘Portland Harmonic Fields’, an ensemble of 500 instruments played by the wind. 

* ‘Exploratory Laboratory’ visual art along the Jurassic Coast until 9 September. 

* ‘Bandstand Marathon’ - a UK-wide music event with bands giving free concerts on 9 September. In Weymouth it will be held at the Jubilee Clock Tower.

* ‘Jurassic Coast Earth Festival On Board’ - take a trip on the Jurassic Airlines flight simulator and travel back in time to the land of dinosaurs. Near Weymouth Pavilion until 9 September. 

* ‘A Dance a Day’ - a community project celebrating the creativity of older people. Dance groups will give free performances on the 7 and 8 September at the Jubilee Clock Tower in Weymouth. 

For more information about the Maritime Mix Cultural Olympiad by the Sea visit: 

A ‘Paralympics Essential Guide’ will be available from council offices, tourist information centres and online at