Northern Ireland's National Flame brought to Belfast
Northern Ireland's National Flame, created by UK Scouts, will reach Belfast today as part of the celebrations ahead of the Paralympic Games.
The whole of Northern Ireland is set to welcome the arrival of the Flame as it tours the country. The Flame will visit Newry, Strabane and Lisburn before heading to the Town Hall in Belfast. A ceremonial cauldron will then be lit and the National Flame will become the focal point for a day of celebrations.
Scouts climbed to the top of Slieve Donard in County Down earlier this week in order to create the actual Flame. Slieve Donard is part of the Mourne Mountains and is the highest peak in Northern Ireland, standing at 850 metres.
One of the inspiring Scouts that made the journey to the top of the mountain included Explorer Scout, Daniel from Antrim. Daniel, who has one leg amputated below the knee, previously achieved his Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award.
He commented, 'I've been canoeing and camping while I’ve been in the Scouts, sometimes it hurts but I just keep going. Getting involved with the flame is going to be a real adventure.'
Scout Leader, Richard Dorrian, 42, from County Down, joined the hike. Richard has been a Scout for over 20 years and now works for a company making limbs for amputees. He credits Scouting with helping him through a difficult period after he suffered from meningitis at 19.
He said, 'I believe that Scouting gives young people a great perspective on life and teaches us to get stuck in and overcome life's challenges.'
Also joining the group was Explorer Scout, Rachel, from Antrim. Rachel previously gained her Diamond Chief Scout Award and Silver Duke of Edinburgh's Award. She commented: 'The Paralympics are an inspiration to everyone.'
The National Flames will reach the Paralympic Flame Festivals in Edinburgh and Cardiff next, before heading to Stoke Mandeville, spiritual home of the Paralympic Movement, to start a 24-hour torch relay finishing in the Olympic stadium in Stratford, East London.
See tomorrow’s news story for our coverage of the action in Scotland.
Join the adventure
If you've been inspired by London 2012 or the Scouts helping to kick-start the Paralympic Games, get involved and volunteer by joining the adventure
Celebrate a great summer of Olympic and Paralympic events in Scout style by getting hold of your own Olympic scarf and badge. Check them out at Scout Shops