Paralympic torch visits Hayling and Farlington before relay

VENUE The Olympic Stadium will play host to the Paralympics
VENUE The Olympic Stadium will play host to the Paralympics

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THE most successful Olympics in living memory may have come to a dazzling end.

But, thankfully, it’s not all over yet.

Paralympic fever will come to our area as people prepare to watch the world’s elite disabled sportsmen and women in action.

The Paralympic torch will visit Farlington and Hayling Island ahead of the 24-hour torch relay between August 28 and August 29.

The torch, made of an aluminium alloy with a mirrored finish, was created by designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, who were also behind the Olympic torch.

It will be coming to the Sainsbury’s in Mengham Road, Hayling, between 9am and 11.30am on Tuesday, August 21.

Then it will be taken to the Sainsbury’s superstore at Farlington from midday to 2.30pm. In total, 61 Sainsbury’s stores in the country are hosting the torch as the supermarket chain is a sponsor of the Paralympics.

The torch, which has thousands of round perforations, will not be lit, and it is hoped people will be able to have their picture taken with it.

Sara London, deputy manager of the Hayling store, was pleased as the Olympic torch relay missed the Havant borough.

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity,’ she said.

‘To host something like this is incredible.

‘I’m proud that as a company we are sponsor and as a store we have been chosen to represent it.

‘It’s nice it’s coming to a smaller community rather than being in one of the major towns or cities.’

Mayor of Havant Gerald Shimbart will be visiting the torch event at 9.30am.

Lesley Powell, public relations ambassador at Farlington Sainsbury’s, said: ‘We would encourage all those who want to see this fantastic once-in-a-lifetime experience to join us.’

National flames will be lit at flame festivals in London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games in Buckinghamshire, between August 24 and August 28.

The Paralympic Flame will then be carried in a relay from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium to start the games.