The Lothian Phoenix were at the forefront of the Paralympic celebrations in Scotland yesterday.
The morning started off with the club providing a showcase of the sport at Meadowbank Sports Centre where hundreds of young people with disabilities from across the region came to participate in the Paralympic Flame Festival, Festival of Sport run by City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Disability Sport. With the skills demonstration out of the way people were invited to come and try and the Wheelchair Basketball certainly proved to be the biggest draw. Players and coaches worked with participants for two hours teaching them the basics and allowing them to play in a basketball chair for the first time. The paralympic flame arrived at midday and the players from the Phoenix were piped around the hall following the flame.
The evening was rounded off spectacularly with two players, David Beattie from the juniors and Paul Sloan from the senior team and winning Celtic Cup Scottish Team accompanying the Paralympic Torch in to Meadowbank Stadium as part of a Lantern Parade. The final leg of the Torch was carried by Lothian Phoenix Player and Scotland Captain (2010-2011) Martin Dougan who lit the cauldron in front of 5000 spectators. Martin was selected after successfully winning a contract with Channel4 to provide coverage of the 2012 Paralympic Games. After lighting the Cauldron Martin dedicated the lighting to his Coach and friend Stevie Duff who sadly passed away recently and to all the people of Scotland. A lantern was lit from the flame and will travel to Stoke Mandeville where flames from Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London will come together to form the Paralympic Flame.
The event helped to excite the nations capital in the final run up to the paralympic games and to showcase some of the great opportunities that are available in paraympic sport in Scotland.
You can watch Martin Dougan lighting the Cauldron here.
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