PCC Sue Mountstevens and Thomas Mellor
Chief Constable Nick Gargan and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens said they were delighted and priviledged to have been involved in the launch of the 2013 Special Olympics GB National Games in Bath last night (Wednesday August 28).
Nick and Sue joined tennis player Thomas Mellor from South Gloucestershire to light the cauldron as part of the "Flame of Hope celebrations in the Royal Crescent and officially launch the games, which run until September 1.
The torch made its way to the south west from Much Wenlock in Shropshire – the founding place of the modern Olympic Games – travelling via Devon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire en-route to Bath.
It was welcomed to the city by Chief Superintendent Geoff Spicer, district commander for Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire policing districts and police officer colleagues.
Geoff and colleagues Shirley Eden (inspector) Alison Norman (sergeant) Lisa Hawtin (PC) and Dave Hall (PCSO) joined five athletes to take the torch to the stage for the official lighting of the cauldron.
Police officers traditionally take the role of guardians of the flame, ensuring it stays alight from the formal lighting ceremony, to the lighting of the cauldron at the game’s opening ceremony.
The Special Olympics GB is the largest sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities and is held every four years. Bath is hosting the ninth series of the games, which will feature 1700 athletes from England, Scotland and Wales who will be competing in 12 sports.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said : “I had a truly wonderful evening at the Special Olympics opening ceremony and it was a real privilege to have been invited, let alone assist in lighting the cauldron.
“The atmosphere was electric with hundreds of athletes enjoying themselves with their friends and families and there was a real sense of pride throughout Bath as everyone came together to make it such a fantastic event.”
Chief Constable Nick Gargan said: “It was a great thrill to be invited and to have the opportunity to meet so many marvellous athletes who have shown such dedication and commitment to earn a place in their very own special national games.
And there was an additional bonus for the Avon and Somerset chief constable. A keen football fan – who is a season ticket holder at Leicester City – he was delighted to have the opportunity to meet Lawrie, McMenemy MBE the legendary ex-England coach and former manager of Southampton, who is president of the Special Olympics GB.
During the evening there were performances by “Britain’s Got Talent” singing star Susan Boyle and jazz singer Clare Teal together with a special appearance of former Winter Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams.
Posted on Thursday 29th August 2013