THE Paralympic flame has been welcomed to Suffolk.
Council leaders from across Suffolk joined Paralympians past and present and Olympic torch bearers at Mid Suffolk Council’s offices in Needham Market as artist Amy Nettleton arrived in her wheelchair with the flame in a Davey lamp.
Amy, from Great Finborough, who plays for three local wheelchair basketball teams, said: “It was amazing. I was quite nervous because it was a huge responsibility. I didn’t realise how big a respnsibility until they handed over this delicate little flame.”
Mid Suffolk Council’s chairman Lesley Mayes told the gathering: “I think it’s fantastic to see it in the county. People got behind the Olympic games and I’m sure they’ll do the same for the Paralympics.”
The whole Rwandan Paralympic Team attended the gathering and will be in the parade, led by Bury Paralympic medal winner Brian Alldis, starting at 7.10pm this evening, that sees the flame travel through Needham Lakes and along Crown Street, High Street and Coddenham Road back into Needham Lakes for a firework finale at 9pm,
Flames were lit this week on the UK’s highest peaks. The Needham Market flame is one of those lit from the English flame that have been carried to points all over the country.
On Saturday and Sunday the flame will visit six disability sports events across the county, finishing at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre in late afternoon.
The flame will return to Bury on Monday where it will be on display at the Suffolk Lap of Honour exhibition at Moyse’s Hall Museum. The free exhibition celebrates Suffolk’s Olympic and Paralympic heritage.
The Paralympics starts at the London Olympic Park on Wednesday.