Paralympic cauldron is lit on Edinburgh's Mound

Rosie Smith lights the cauldron
Image caption Rosie Smith lights the cauldron beside the Paralympic Agitos logo

Celebrations are under way in Scotland after a cauldron was lit in Edinburgh as part of the Paralympic Games torch relay.

The cauldron on the Mound was lit using a flame created by a team of Scouts on the summit of Ben Nevis.

A series of events is taking place in Edinburgh and Glasgow, culminating in a "Flame Festival" at Meadowbank Sports Centre on Sunday night.

Flames from around the UK will unite before a relay to the opening ceremony.

The full dress rehearsal for the ceremony planned for Monday evening has been brought forward to Sunday because of predicted bad weather.

The pre-show rehearsal is due to start at 20:00 and the ceremony at 20:30.

Details of the ceremony are being officially kept under wraps but some 3,000 adult volunteers and 100 children are reported to be taking part.

Cauldrons were lit in London on Friday and Belfast on Saturday, with Cardiff taking its turn on Monday.

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Media captionThe cauldron was lit by Rosie Smith

In Edinburgh, the honour fell to Rosie Smith, from Glasgow, who was nominated by Capability Scotland.

Rosie led their first Ben Nevis event which involved teams of disabled and non-disabled people working together to conquer the UK's highest peak.

The cauldron was put out slightly earlier than planned because of fears the heat might damage a Paralympic logo nearby.

One of those attending the event, Paralympic gold medal winning swimmer Maggie McEleny said it was "amazing" to see a cauldron being lit in Scotland.

She was delighted with the publicity being given to Paralympic sport, which was often in the shadow of its Olympic counterparts.

"We're learning more about the athletes. They train as hard, sometimes harder, because it might take us longer to get to the pool and get undressed," she said.

Locog chairman Seb Coe said: "Created at the summit of Ben Nevis, the Scottish Flame represents an achievement of human endeavour, which is something that every Paralympian represents.

"I invite the people of Edinburgh to show their support for the Paralympic Torch Relay as it travels around the city and help us to lead the way to the Paralympic Games."

The day's timetable of events:

  • 1100 - flame visits Edinburgh Sick Children's Hospital where patients were able to hold it in a miner's lantern.
  • 1200 - flame visits a community event at Meadowbank Sports Centre, where local disability sports clubs held demonstrations and "have a go" sessions.
  • 1800 - a Flame Festival at Meadowbank Sports Centre. The event includes performances from "Pulse of the Place" Samba band alongside Sing in the City and Edinburgh Signing Choir.

The highlight of the Flame Festival is a lantern procession where 200 children and their families will line the route for eight torchbearers who will carry the flame into the event.

Image caption The flame was brought to Glasgow by Maggie McEleny and Jodie Taylor

Earlier in the day part of the Scottish flame was carried to Glasgow for an event at the Tramway art-space.

Families took part in outdoor and indoor activities, dance and music performances, participative arts workshops, recipe exchange and games including boccia and basketball tasters.

The Scottish flame was created by a team of Scouts and people with disabilities when flint was struck against steel at the summit of Ben Nevis.

Other flames created on Scafell Pike, Snowdon and Slieve Donard are being taken round England, Wales and Northern Ireland before coming together at Stoke Mandeville, home of the Paralympic Games, on Tuesday.

From there, the flame will be carried by 580 torchbearers over the following 24 hours to the Paralympic Games opening ceremony on the evening of 29 August.

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