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Click here to find out details about the country’s largest sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities of the year.
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Ahead of the 2013 National Summer Games which begin next week, Special Olympics GB will be taking its 'Flame of Hope' around the South West - see details below. The torch relay will finish on Wednesday 28 August when the Flame of Hope lights the cauldron at the spectacular Opening Ceremony at the Royal Crescent, Bath in front of an audience of 7,000.
The Special Olympics Flame of Hope will be lit by an officer of the Wenlock Olympian Society at Much Wenlock, Shropshire on Friday morning and then progress through South West England. Special Olympics athletes, local police and dignitaries will welcome the Flame on its journey.
Athletes from the South West will also have the honour of accompanying the Flame of Hope into the Opening Ceremony:
David Stockdale - Special Olympics Plymouth & District,
Kate Warmsley - Special Olympics South Devon,
William Strong - Special Olympics Exeter & District,
Adam Osborne - Buds & Suds South Gloucestershire,
Philip Bolt - Special Olympics Plymouth & District
Tennis player, Thomas Mellor, from South Gloucestershire, will light the cauldron on the evening of 28 August. Following the Opening Ceremony the cauldron will be relocated to the Games Village at the University of Bath campus where it will remain during the period of the National summer Games.
Karen Wallin, CEO of Special Olympics GB, said: “The Torch Relay is a great opportunity to raise awareness for the Special Olympic National Games in the South West of England. We want to ensure that everyone around the South West knows about the Special Olympics movement and the opportunities it provides for people of all ages and abilities with intellectual disabilities to get involved in our year-round programme of sports training and competition.”
Games Torch Relay Route
Friday 23 August
09:30 - Guildhall, Much Wenlock
16:00 - Town Hall, Falmouth
Saturday 24 August
11:00 - Guildhall, Plymouth
14:00 - Princess Hay Shopping Centre, Exeter
Monday 26 August
11:00 - Guildhall Clocktower, Barnstaple
Tuesday 27 August
11:00 - Wiltshire Wharf Green, Swindon
16:30 - Town Hall, Cheltenham
Wednesday 28 August
10:00 - City Hall, Bristol
17:30 - Games Opening Ceremony, Royal Crescent, Bath
The Special Olympics Flame of Hope relay starts in Much Wenlock because the first Wenlock Olympian Games took place in 1850 and the founder, Dr William Penny Brookes, inspired the birth of the Modern Olympic Games. The Wenlock Olympian Society was formed by Dr Brookes to hold annual Games to promote physical activity