On your marks, get set, go! One hundred tickets for the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony, which forms part of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games Torch Relay in South Korea, have now been released for the general public. The ceremony will take place on 2 March at Stoke Mandeville Stadium – the birthplace of the Paralympic movement.

With only 30 days to go the organising committee including the British Paralympic Association (BPA), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC)Leap and WheelPower are hard at work ensuring that the event sparks the flame of not only the Paralympic Torch, but igniting the “Spirit Of Endeavour” of all potential future Paralympians. A Heritage Flame will once more burst into life and ignite the start of the Paralympic Flame journey for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. The Flame will be sent “virtually” to South Korea where it will start an eight-day relay and eventually light the Cauldron in Seoul on March 9 to officially mark the start of the Games.

For a chance to get a ticket, please visit www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/ticketballot. Please note tickets are processed on a first-come, first-served basis and will guarantee entry to the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting ceremony in Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Buckinghamshire.

The first Archery Tournament at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, 27 July 1948 to coincide with the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games. Photo credit: Wheelpower, International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport Federation and
National Paralympic Heritage Trust.

This year’s ceremony is entitled “The Spirit of Endeavour” and recognises Stoke Mandeville as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement. VIPs, current and retired Paralympians, members of the public and officials will all be there to witness this international event.

In the run-up to the flame lighting, Stoke Mandeville Stadium will play host to local schools for a day of taster sessions for disabled sport. Also contributing to the day’s events is Leap’s Disability Sport Summit: an event designed to bring disability practitioners together to share best practice and work to get more people active for life.

AVDC Councillor Angela MacPherson, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This year’s event is building up to be a fantastic spectacle that will once more honour Stoke Mandeville’s Paralympic heritage and all the fantastic Paralympians who are gearing up to participate in the PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games.”

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, lighting the Paralympic Games Heritage torch with Kelly Gallagher MBE, holding the wheelbarrow at the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games Heritage Flame Ceremony. Photo credit: Wheelpower, International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport Federation and National Paralympic Heritage Trust.

The first ever sporting events for people with a disability were hosted at Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury Vale by Dr Ludwig Guttmann in 1948 and, from this spark, the global Paralympic movement was born, and this year will celebrate its 70th anniversary. Now, the place that started the Paralympic movement continues to be at its forefront, providing an environment that supports new and inclusive standards in sport, culture, health and education. As the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, Stoke Mandeville is also recognised as the home of the Paralympic Heritage Flame, and will continue to host the heritage flame lighting ceremony for all future Paralympic Games.

The event will be broadcast live on Channel 4 News at 7.45pm where viewers can witness this historic event for themselves.