Barry lad shines in Paralympic flame event
8:50am Friday 31st August 2012 in News
A BARRY teenager had a moment to shine when the spotlight focused on him as he took part in the Paralympics flame tour in Cardiff.
Ysgol Maes Dyfan pupil Charlie Anning-Phillips joined fellow Mencap Cymru Ambassadors and around 200 lantern procession participants to herald the arrival of the Paralympic flame in Cardiff on Monday (August 27).
The Flame Festival in Cardiff Bay saw hundreds of people turn out to view the lantern's journey, a mini torch relay, and a concert featuring Charlotte Church, ahead of the opening of the Paralympic Games in London yesterday (Wednesday).
Falklands veteran Simon Weston lit the cauldron in the Bay, with Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson having done the same at City Hall earlier in the day.
Gibbonsdown resident Charlie, who has learning disabilities, received the call to take part in the event having worked with Mencap for the last year.
Sports-mad Charlie - a Vale Reds football player and goalie with the South Wales section Welsh Disability team - has been able to take part in a range of adventure activities through the charity, including white water rafting, skiing and rock climbing.
Charlie, 16, said he wasn't phased by the mass of cheering supporters who lined the procession route - including mum and dad Lynnette and Richie Phillips.
"I'm used to it because I play football," he said.
"I was happy, I felt proud - it was awesome."
Dad Richie said: "I had goosepimples on top of goosepimples - it was amazing."
Mencap Cymru Play Our Way Project Assistant, Jen Daffin said the charity was delighted their Ambassadors were invited to be part of the event.
"The Play our Way project, funded by BBC Children in Need, supports young ambassadors to socialise independently and try new sports," she said.
"This fits perfectly with the spirit of the Paralympics which showcases what disabled people are able to achieve when given the opportunity."
Cardiff was the last of four UK cities to mark the arrival of the Paralympic flame, which then went to Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, to unite with flames lit on England, Scotland and Northern Ireland's highest peaks.
A ceremony then saw a single Paralympic flame created for the 24-hour torch relay that ended at the Paralympic Stadium, in Stratford, London, on Wednesday (August 29).
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