Much-Wenlock-300x200Ahead 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.”

Date County Location
09:30 – Friday 23 August Shropshire  Guildhall, Much Wenlock
16:00 – Friday 23 August Cornwall  Town Hall, Falmouth
11:00 – Saturday 24 August Devon  Guildhall, Plymouth
14:00 – Saturday 24 August Devon  Princess Hay Shopping Centre, Exeter
11:00 – Monday 26 August Devon Albert Clock, Barnstaple
11:00 – Tuesday 27 August Wiltshire  Wharf Green, Swindon
16:30 – Tuesday 27 August Gloucestershire  Town Hall, Cheltenham
10:00 – Wednesday 28 August 17:30   (Opening Ceremony) Gloucestershire Somerset  City Hall, Bristol                    Royal Crescent, Bath

Did you know?

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.