Celebrate arrival of Paralympic Flame in St Albans at Sports Fest 2012

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News release: 14 August 2012

Verulamium Park, St Albans will come alive on Saturday, 25 August as the District’s first inclusive Sport Festival is held to welcome the Paralympic Flame to the city.

The St Albans City and District is among 34 communities across the country hosting an official Paralympic Flame Celebration Event. The aim is to celebrate the start of the Paralympic Torch Relay and the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Organised by St Albans City and District Council, the event follows hot on the heels of the Olympic Torch Relay through St Albans last month.

Kicking off the celebrations, the UK’s number one wheelchair badminton player will carry the Paralympic Flame, along St Peter’s Street to Verulamium Park. The Flame Ambassador, Gobi Ranganathan, will be accompanied by local children, young people and disability community group representatives carrying 89 flags.

Residents and visitors will then be invited to join in a variety of free sports and physical activity sessions at Sports Fest 2012 in Verulamium Park.

Cllr Mike Wakely, Portfolio Holder for Sports, Leisure and Heritage at St Albans City and District Council, said: “Throughout the day local sports clubs and organisations will provide demonstrations and taster sessions showcasing sports inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We hope that everyone will be inspired and motivated to join in the fun and become more active in the longer term.”

Community organisations taking part in Sports Fest 2012 include St Albans City Youth Community FC, Marshalswick Judo Club, St Albans Cricket Club and Verulamians Rugby Club. World Rhythms, another local group known for their involvement in the council-run ‘adiZone Fun Days’, will be giving residents the opportunity to participate in an outdoor Zumba dance class.

There will also be a full programme of live music and entertainment throughout the day with MOBO award-winning Tinchy Stryder topping the bill. Known as the ‘Prince of Grime’, Stryder is one of the most successful UK male solo artists of the last five years, clocking up two number one singles and nine top 40 hits. He has worked with Jay-Z and collaborated with such stars as Tinie Tempah, Emeli Sande, N-Dubz, Taio Cruz and Pixie Lott. He has also been licensed to release an official song for the Olympic Torch Relay, ‘Spinnin for 2012’, which he recorded with Amy Winehouse’s god-daughter, Dionne Bromfield.

A number of local acts including The Cautionaries, Telstar and Go Monaco, as well as vocalist, Melissa O’Donnell, will also be on the bill. 

Paralympic Flame Celebration Event

11:15 - 12noon

A procession to welcome the Paralympic Flame. The Flame will be carried by Flame Ambassador Gobi Ranganathan, the UK’s number one Wheelchair Badminton Player along St Peter's Street to Verulamium Park. The procession will also include local children, young people and disability community groups and showcase 89 banner flags designed by children from local special schools and adults from local disability organisations. The flags have been designed to celebrate the Paralympic Games.

12noon - 12:15pm

Welcome ceremony in Verulamium Park for the Paralympic Flame. This will feature a short speech from Gobi Ranganathan, followed by a fast-moving and dramatic dance-theatre performance from, ARC; the professional arm of Redbourn’s Inclusive ArtsBase, ActOne. 

12.15pm - 5pm

Sports activities, entertainment, live music and dance programmed throughout the day.

5pm - 9pm

Live music from local artists and musicians, featuring headline act Tinchy Stryder.

More information about the Paralympic Flame celebrations and Sports Fest 2012 is available on the Council's website. 

Member contact:

Cllr Mike Wakely, Portfolio Holder for Sports, Leisure and Heritage at St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01582 764688

Contact for the press:

Amanda Wilkinson, Media and Internal Communications Officer
Tel: 01727 819317. E-mail: amanda.wilkinson@stalbans.gov.uk 
St Albans City and District Council


More information about the Paralympic Torch Relay is available on Paralympic website.


Tinchy Stryder
Tinchy Stryder