Paralympic stars take part in special Stoke Mandeville ceremony

Double gold Paralympian, Pam Relf presents Rio 2016 torches at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Pam Relf and torch recipients with  Haj Bhania, coach of GB paralymic basketball team, centre. PNL-160711-140950009
Double gold Paralympian, Pam Relf presents Rio 2016 torches at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Pam Relf and torch recipients with Haj Bhania, coach of GB paralymic basketball team, centre. PNL-160711-140950009
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A special ceremony was held today at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, to recognise key players who are helping to keep Aylesbury Vale’s Paralympic heritage alive.

Seven organisations were each presented with a Rio 2016 Paralympic Torch by double gold medal winner Pam Relph, MBE, in recognition of their contributions. They included the National Paralympic Heritage Trust, WheelPower and the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Pam, who’s from Weston Turville, won her second Paralympic Gold Medal in the mixed coxed fours at Rio 2016 and this feat makes her the only current international para-rower to be a double Paralympic Champion.

The presentation was organised by Aylesbury Vale District Council. Councillor Angela Macpherson, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Communities and Civic Amenities at AVDC, said: “It is wonderful to see that the Paralympic legacy continues in its birthplace of Aylesbury Vale, thanks to the efforts of several key organisations. We are delighted to be able to recognise their contribution by awarding them a Paralympic Torch, created for the Rio 2016 Games.”

Pam Relph said: “I was really pleased to present the Paralympic Torches today as I’m a local girl and it’s great to meet the people whose work is keeping the flame alive where the Paralympics began.”

The first Stoke Mandeville Games were organised by Sir Ludwig Guttmann in 1948 and have developed into a worldwide sporting phenomenon. In September the second Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony was held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.