Paralympic flame created by scouts

The Paralympic torch has been lit across the UK

The Paralympic torch has been lit accross the UK

First published in National Sport News © by

Scouts lived up to their motto to "Be Prepared" as they lit the spark for the Paralympic Flame at the top of England's highest mountain on Wednesday.

The group of youngsters and two Scout leaders scaled the 978-metre summit of Scafell Pike in Cumbria, where they used a ferrocerium rod by striking it against a rough steel surface to create the sparks to light the special flame.

At the same time, flame-creating events were also taking place at the highest peaks in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and all will be used in lighting the flame for the Paralympic Games in London.

Scouts involved in the English leg of the event were from Cumbria and included David Harding, 17, from Bewcastle, Tom Usher, 16, from Inglewood, near Dalston, Peter Lumsden, 17, from Carlisle, and Rebecca Haslam, 21, from Penrith.

Scout leaders Tom Lawson, from Carlisle, and Geoff Price, leader at Bewcastle, were also taking part.

Their mission took six hours in all - setting off at dawn in relatively good weather. But at the summit in the midst of clouds the conditions were very different.

Mr Lawson said: "It went really well. It took a while to light the thing at the top - it was freezing cold and hail-stoning and raining because we were so high up. Of course, being scouts, as the saying goes, we were prepared."

The four individual flames will now be transferred to their respective capitals for a day of Paralympic celebrations.

From the Paralympic celebrations in the capitals, the national flames will be taken to Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic movement, where they will be united during a special ceremony on Tuesday to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.

At the end of the ceremony, the 24-hour overnight relay route will see the Paralympic Flame carried 92 miles by 580 inspirational torchbearers, working in teams of five, from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium to officially open the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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