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2012 Paralympic Torch Relay Team


  • Published: 2012-06-22 : Author: Channel 4
  • Synopsis: Individuals who have made outstanding contributions to British disability sport awarded a place on the 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay.

Channel 4 Announces Paralympic Torch Relay Team - Five individuals who have made outstanding contributions to British disability sport have been rewarded with a place on the 24-hour Paralympic Torch Relay in August.

Paralympic Games 2012 - The 2012 Summer Paralympic Games will be the fourteenth Paralympics and will take place between 29 August 2012 and 9 September 2012 in London, England.

Channel 4 will be represented by Jackie Bullen, Stacey Burns, Jenny Archer, Tony Larkin and Heather Hodge, who have displayed "the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality to make a difference or push the boundaries of what is achievable."

The quintet will cover 0.5 miles together holding their own torches, although only one will be lit at any one time.

The lit flame will be passed every 160m so all five members of the Channel 4 team will have the opportunity to hold the torch.

In all, 580 people will work in teams of five to carry the torch from Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic movement, to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford throughout the day and night between 28-29 August.

About Channel 4's team:

Jackie Bullen

Jackie is a voluntary press officer for Goalball UK and mother to women's ParalympicsGB team member Georgie Bullen.

Jackie discovered goalball after taking Georgie to a sports day organized by British Blind Sport. Georgie was spotted in 2009 and Jackie has been her biggest support taking her to training camps across the country.

Jackie took on the challenge of building public awareness of goalball and gave up a huge amount of time writing to journalists, organizing awareness days, facilitating TV crews and organizing the two squads.

She also helped raising funds to support training and transport. It was through this role that Jackie met Stacey Burns, Series Producer of Channel 4's "That Paralympic Show" who nominated her.

Jackie also runs her own house and pet-sitting business. Her husband and three sons Jamie, Josh and Nick will be in London cheering the GB team on.

Stacey Burns

Stacey is the series producer of Channel 4's program "Road to London 2012: That Paralympic Show."

Stacey has worked across four series since 2010 delivering 40 episodes of the popular Saturday lunchtime which is presented by Ade Adepitan, Rick Edwards and Iwan Thomas.

The show educates the audience on all things para-sport whilst raising the profile and awareness of a range of individual sports.

Stacey and her team have worked with all sports governing bodies, traveled the country visiting training camps and competitions in search of elite athletes and performances to bring them to a brand-new audience.

As well as working on "That Paralympic Show" Stacey has also produced two series of the short films "BT & Channel 4 Presents..." which showcases the skill, determination and awe inspiring dedication of some of the world's best Paralympic athletes.

Stacey was nominated by Deborah Poulton, Project Leader Paralympics for Channel 4.

Jenny Archer

Jenny is coach to world-class wheelchair racer David Weir. Jenny met David at the London Youth Games and after following his career became his coach in 2002.

She guided Weir to double gold in Beijing 2008, triple gold at the 2011 World Championships and a record sixth title at the 2012 London Marathon. Formerly a teacher, Archer was a fitness coach with Wimbledon Football Club for 11 years before coaching Weir.

Jenny was nominated by Channel 4's reporter and and ex-Olympic 400m runner Iwan Thomas.

"I had the pleasure of being coached by Jenny for a feature we filmed on 'That Paralympic Show' and from day one I could see the close respectful bond she had with her athletes," said Iwan.

"The amount of time and dedication she gives is amazing, she is the one who deserves a medal! A real joy to meet and work with such an inspirational woman."

Tony Larkin

Tony has been the head coach of the GB/England blind football team since 1997 and has taken the team to seven European Championships, six World Championships and the Beijing Paralympics.

The former professional footballer has also worked for the Royal National College for the Blind since 1989, where he currently holds the post of director, setting up the UK's first blind football academy.

He has been an inspiration to many blind young people and has been instrumental in raising the national profile of blind football and in developing a national blind football coaching network.

Tony was nominated by Stacey Burns, Series Producer of Channel4's "Road to London 2012: That Paralympic Show."

Heather Hodge

Heather is mother to "That Paralympic Show" biggest fan, eight-year-old Billy, who is hemiplegic.

Billy made a video about Paralympic sport as part of a homework project. Heather sent the video to Channel 4 where the team were moved by what they saw; the video was shared and was picked up by LOCOG, IPC, BT Paralympic World Cup, Hemihelp charity and lots of Paralympic websites and athletes.

Heather is a bursar at Billy's school and has organized a Paralympic awareness day for the summer term giving children the opportunity to try disability sports as well as arranging trips to watch the BT Paralympic World Cup.

She is also the regional representative for Hemihelp charity and arranges events for parents and families to get together and socialize and helped to set up a new Facebook-based support group.

Heather was nominated by Deborah Poulton, Project Leader, Paralympics Channel 4.

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