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30 August 2012

Inspirational torchbearers lead Paralympic party

STILL mourning the passing of the Olympics? Worry not: the Paralympic Games lit up Hackney on its way to deliver another banquet of sport across East London.

Crowds of around 1,000 lined the streets outside Hackney Town Hall to welcome the Paralympic torch as it passed through the borough to London Fields Lido and on to the Olympic Stadium.
Despite delays and terrible weather, the torch arrived dragging along blue skies to help the five Hackney torchbearers -­ Aneurin Wood, Sharon Jones-Barnes, Kayum Choudhury, Tim Rushby-Smith and Amir Laksari - ­ complete their section of the relay route.

Aneurin said of the honour: "I feel fantastic. It's a great to be able to do this in Hackney."
Entertainment was put on for the waiting crowds in Hackney Town Hall Square, compered by deaf comedian Steve Day. The event included a dance performance from carnival group Tropical Isles; songs from community choir Hoxton Singers; and a DJ to rev up the crowds. Representatives from charity Age UK Hackney, plus Rio 2016 Paralympic hopefuls from Hackney like Jerry-Ray Pearce, and community groups also joined the party.
Tess, 10, who cheered on the torchbearers with her two sisters, said: "I'm excited about seeing the Paralympic torch because we went to the sport zone at Haggerston Park and tried out wheelchair basketball. We used a lot of muscles we don't usually use, and it made me realise how impressive the Paralmypic athletes are."
Akuac Thiep, 17, from Clapton added: "My brother participates in disability swimming and I feel pretty proud of him today. He does what he loves doing and trains every week ­ it's quite a commitment."
For more info on Hackney torchbearers, visit: www.hackney.gov.uk/paralympics.htm 


Aneurin Wood and Sharon Jones-Barnes with torch

Aneurin Wood and Sharon Jones-Barnes with torch

Aneurin Wood and Sharon Jones-Barnes with torch Tess, 10, with family enjoying the show Rio 2016 hopeful Jerry Ray Pearce


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