Celebrating Buckinghamshire’s Paralympic heritage for Tokyo 2020
Buckinghamshire’s proud Paralympic heritage will be internationally recognised as part of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay, with the fourth Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony taking place at Stoke Mandeville Stadium on Thursday 19 August.
As the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement, Stoke Mandeville will welcome Paralympic Torch Bearers, Jane Blackburn and Susie Rodgers MBE, as well as local sport and community groups to this unique outdoor celebration which forms part of the five-day-long official Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay.
Buckinghamshire Council with local partners WheelPower, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, National Paralympic Heritage Trust, Walk the Plank, and Leap are delighted to once again be bringing this fantastic celebration of the county’s rich heritage to life.
Walk the Plank recently hosted several community flag making workshops, and the flags created will be used as decoration for the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony, with makers offered the opportunity to carry them as part of the event. The workshops were an exciting opportunity for Buckinghamshire’s local communities and families to showcase their creativity and recognise the exciting and unique event happening on their doorstep.
Unfortunately, due to the restrictions and impacts of the pandemic throughout the planning stages of the fourth Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony, Buckinghamshire Council has been unable to provide a ticket ballot for the event. However, highlights of the Ceremony will be broadcast on Channel 4’s evening news programme on Thursday 19 August for everyone to enjoy from the comfort of their home.
Clive Harriss, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, said:
“It’s fantastic that we’re able to once again recognise and celebrate Buckinghamshire as the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement with another Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. We’re fully behind our athletes and want everyone to offer them their support.
“Please tune into the highlights of the Ceremony which will be broadcast globally on Channel 4 for all of us to enjoy.”
Martin McElhatton OBE, Chief Executive of WheelPower, comments:
“WheelPower is excited to be working with Buckinghamshire Council to deliver a fantastic ceremony that encompasses the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games’ values. It’s great to see this international spotlight shining on Stoke Mandeville, celebrating its unique Paralympic heritage, born from the invaluable work achieved by Sir Ludwig Guttmann at Stoke Mandeville Hospital’s National Spinal Injury Centre.”
Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said:
“The Paralympics is the culmination of years of sacrifice and dedication for athletes across the world and I’m delighted that Stoke Mandeville is once again playing its part.
“Our Tokyo Paralympians will inspire young disabled people to pursue their dreams without barriers and through our National Disability Strategy we are committed to helping them make that possible.”