Gareth to carry the Paralympic Flame

Handout photo issued by LOCOG of'Janet Grey lighting the cauldron with the Paralympic flame at Belfast City Hall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 25, 2012. See PA story PARALYMPICS Ulster. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/LOCOG/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by LOCOG of'Janet Grey lighting the cauldron with the Paralympic flame at Belfast City Hall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 25, 2012. See PA story PARALYMPICS Ulster. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/LOCOG/PA Wire

A Coleraine teenager will today be among those carrying the Paralympic Flame in London.

At 8pm on Tuesday the Flame will start its 92 mile journey from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

It will be carried by 580 inspirational Torchbearers from around the country, working in teams of five over a 24-hour period, including local man Gareth Burton.

Gareth is 18 years old and lives in Coleraine with his family. He is will carry the Paralympic Flame in Westminster.

Gareth was born prematurely, at the time his mum was told that he may not survive. But Gareth has defied the medics and is an active member of his community and campaigns tirelessly for disabled accessibility.

In Northern Ireland the Flame was lit at the top of Slieve Donard last Wednesday. On Saturday it was simutaneously sent out from Stormont to Ballymena, Cookstown, Carrickfergus, Derry, Lisburn, Newry and Strabane will also host Flame Celebrations on the day.

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: “We are preparing to support more brilliant athletes from Ireland in the forthcoming Paralympic Games. The flame will let us join together in an experience which celebrates sporting achievement, inspirational people and the human spirit.”

Disability Sports NI chairwoman and former Paralympic medallist Angela Hendra said excitement was building ahead of the Games.

She said: “I am really excited that we have reached this stage and I am looking forward to going to London and sharing that excitement and I only wish I could compete again.”

The Paralympic Games run from August 29 to September 9.