London 2012: Schools touched by Paralympic torch relay

London 2012 Paralympic Torch reflecting the Paralympic Torch Relay logo The Torch is coming to town

With exactly six months to go to the Paralympic Games, more details have been released about the route the Paralympic torch relay will take.

In fact, that should say "routes" - because from 24 August onwards, four separate flames will be lit in the national capitals of London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff before they are united to create the Paralympic Flame at Stoke Mandeville. The torch will then be carried by overnight relay to London.

More than 3,500 people across the UK have been nominated to carry the Paralympic Flame, and 33 communities across the UK will host "Flame Celebrations" over the August bank holiday weekend.

Schools lying along the routes of the torch relay have been telling us what the relay and the spirit of the Games mean to them.

The Billericay School, Essex, England

What do you think about the Paralympic Games and torch relay coming to the UK?

Tommy, Billericay School Tommy

I think it's brilliant because it's a way of bringing something that's a global event to the local area. It's really easy to think that the Olympics are something that happens somewhere else, but with it coming to England this year, this is a really good way of reminding people that England, and in particular Essex, are major places when we talk about sport.

Tommy, 14

If the Paralympic torch comes to your town how would you feel and why?

Christian, Billericay School Christian

It puts Essex on the map and it's a good thing for the county to be getting some genuinely positive press rather than the usual stuff we get associated with us, like [TV show] The Only Way Is Essex. It's also a good way to bring visitors to the county because there are lots of good things here.

Christian, 14

If you could decide where the Paralympic Torch visited in your area what landmark or place would you recommend and why?

I would have it at the new Sporting Village in Basildon's Gloucester Park. We have our district sports events there and the atmosphere is fantastic.

Jaycey, 14

Emma, Billericay School Emma

Are you looking forward to the torch relay and Paralympic Games? If so, why?

It really helps to hype people up and it's just something different. Being the Paralympics it's also really important because disabled people are just are valid as able-bodied athletes and this part of the event shouldn't be overlooked.

Jaycey, 14

Who would you like to run in the relay and why?

Jaycey, Billericay School Jaycey

A sprinter like [champion double amputee athlete] Oscar Pistorius and his 'cheetah legs' because he's a good representative for people with different abilities and an excellent role model for everyone. He's amazingly fast!

Tommy, 14

Every year we have teachers who run the London Marathon and raise loads of money for charity. I'd choose one of them.

Emma, 14

Royal Manor Arts College, Portland, Dorset, England

If the Paralympic torch comes to your town, how would you feel and why?

Very pleased and excited because it will get us noticed.

Courtney, 12

Students from Royal Manor Arts College in Dorset School Reporters from Royal Manor

There will be lots of tourists and traffic which is good for some people and bad for others. But it is important that everybody joins in.

Melody, 13

Really excited because we will be part of a massive global event.

Mr Wadley, head of English

Are you looking forward to the torch relay and Paralympic Games? If so, why?

I think it is a good idea because nothing like this has happened before on Portland, it is a really exciting and a great opportunity to show everybody Portland.

Harvey, 13

To be honest I am not really sure or bothered about the torch relay, because it bores me and is over so quickly. But the actual Olympics and Paralympics Games I am really excited about and looking forward to because it offers some great opportunities for Weymouth and Portland.

Keira, 13

What landmark do you recommend the Paralympic torch relay should visit and why?

Portland Bill because there's a big car park and it's easy for disabled people to get to and it has lovely scenery.

Melody, 13

Pulpit Rock because it is enduring like Portland stone and the dramatic setting really sets the mood.

Mr Wadley

Portland Bill Lighthouse because it's iconic for Portland.

Mrs Wilson

Carrickfergus College, Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland

What do you think about the Paralympic Games and torch relay coming to the UK?

Hannah and Rebecca, Carrickfergus College Hannah and Rebecca

I think it is a really exciting time as we are used to watching the Games when they are being held in far-off cities like Beijing and Athens. Now we have the chance to be involved and to promote the UK on the world stage.

Hannah, 14

If the Paralympic torch comes to your town how would you feel and why?

If the torch came to out town we would feel very privileged. It would be an opportunity to encourage tourists to come and visit the area. This kind of thing doesn't happen very often so it would be an honour to be involved.

Rebecca, 14

If you could decide where the Paralympic Torch visited in the Carrickfergus area what landmark or place would you recommend and why?

I think the torch should visit Carrickfergus Castle as it is our most famous landmark and it is somewhere to be proud off. It has such history and is very recognisable so this would be an excellent backdrop for the relay.

Jack, 14

I think the torch should visit our school, Carrickfergus College. We are involved in a lot of sporting activities and when pupils from our school compete against pupils from other schools we tend to do very well.

Lauren, 15

Are you looking forward to the torch relay and Paralympic Games? If so, why?

Yes I am looking forward to the torch relay and the Paralympic Games because, for me, they are more exciting to watch. Some of the stories from the people involved are really inspirational and change the way you see things.

Jack, 14

Who would you like to run in the relay and why?

I think it would be great if Kenneth Branagh or Liam Neeson were to get involved as they are two of the most successful actors to come from Northern Ireland and we are very proud of their achievements. Snow Patrol are also brilliant and should be involved.

Hannah, 14

John Grant School, Great Yarmouth

If the Paralympic torch comes to your town how would you feel and why?

Casey, John Grant School Casey

Really excited - I like seeing people that are famous!

Casey, 16

It would be cool because we haven't had anything like that before.

David, 15

If you could decide where the Paralympic Torch visited in your area what landmark or place would you recommend and why?

On the beach, so you could see the ships and port.

William, John Grant School William

William, 12

The Market Place, so the runners could have some chips!

Casey, 16

Who would you like to run in the relay and why?

John Ruddy, the Norwich goalie, for helping Norwich to win.

Chris, 15

Whitley Academy, Coventry, England

What do you think about the Paralympic Games and torch relay coming to the UK?

It's a brilliant - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, just like the Olympic torch relay. It is really good for the UK as we will be watched by the whole world. It also gives people with disabilities the chance to shine.

Liam and Jamie, Whitley Academy Liam and Jamie

Jamie, 12

If the Paralympic torch comes to your town how would you feel and why?

I feel proud to know that people with disabilities still carry on enjoying their passions. Everyone deserves a chance in life to do what they have a passion for. My mum is disabled (uses a wheelchair) but she has still continued to swim and carry on living a good life. She also has children, including me. I know my Mum wants to say: "I am disabled but I am not useless!"

Liam, 11

If you could decide where the Paralympic Torch visited in Coventry, what landmark or place would you recommend and why?

I would recommend that it would go around Coventry Round Market because it is round and unique. Coventry Round Market has a long history of its own and has been mentioned as a tourist attraction spot.

Then it would go down to the Lower Precinct to show the more modern side of Coventry in comparison with other places around Coventry City Centre.

Finally it has to be the Lady Godiva statue because she is a very well-known historical figure in the history of Coventry.

Joseph, 13

I would say the Transport Museum as the first bikes and cars were made in Coventry. Also I would recommend the statue of Sir Frank Whittle and Whittle Arch. I am very proud of the historical aspect of Coventry.

Liam, 11

I would recommend the Old Coventry Cathedral because of its history involving World War II. It's not the nicest place to look at but it shows how the Coventry Blitz caused lots of damage to Coventry.

Georgia, 12 (BBC News School Report Project Manager)

Who would you like to run in the relay and why?

Myself, as I have signed up to run the relays three times!

Courtney and Mrs Nguyen, Whitley Academy Courtney and Mrs Nguyen

Liam, 11

I would like to see Mrs Nguyen (my teacher on the Student Reporters Team) as it would be hilarious and I know that she is not a sporty person at all!

Courtney, 13

I would nominate Liam - a classmate and reporter of mine - because he is very active and talkative.

Milla, 11

Sandelford Special School, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

If the Paralympic Torch comes to your town how would you feel and why?

I would feel excited, because it is the first time I have seen the torch.

Patrick, 16

Caolan, Alexander, Macaulay (back row), Sean and Patrick, Sandelford Special School, Northern Ireland Caolan, Alexander, Macaulay (back row), Sean and Patrick

We would like to hold it, but we would need to be very careful because it is fire and that can be dangerous.

Caolan, 14 and Macaulay, 15

If you could decide where the Paralympic Torch visited in Northern Ireland what landmark or place would you recommend and why?

Belfast, Derry and Lisburn because these are the three cities in Northern Ireland and if it came to all three then everyone in Northern Ireland would have easy access to go and visit the torch if they wanted to.

Caolan, 14

Who would you like to run in the relay and why?

Phil Packer [a former British army officer told he would never walk again after being seriously injured serving in Iraq, who has gone on to undertake several physical challenges for charity] because he deserves it because he has worked so hard to walk again after his back injury.

Patrick, 16

Mark (our football coach) because he trains us for football.

Alexander, 16

Etta (our BBC mentor) because she has helped us so much with our School Report interviews.

Macaulay, 15

Rihanna, because she's famous

Sean, 15

Uplands Community College, East Sussex

Who would you like to run in the Paralympic relay and why?

I would like my dad to run in the relay as although he is not disabled he is hugely enthusiastic about sports and runs in many triathlon races and trains loads. I think that he would really enjoy it and it would be really important to him.

Georgina, 13

Are you looking forward to the torch relay and Paralympic Games? If so, why?

I am definitely inspired by these people who give so much to do well at something even with the challenges they face.

I am also looking forward to the Games because I am excited to have the chance to go and see my first goalball match, which is really exciting and will be a great follow-up to our article [about goalball, a team sport played by visually impaired athletes].

Rachel, 13

What do you think about the Paralympics Games and the torch relay coming to the UK?

I am really excited about the Paralympics coming to the UK as well as the Torch relay. Personally, I love the excitement and pride that comes with the Games - especially the Paralympic Games as the sheer skill need to perform without limbs or sight is amazing. I cannot even dream of doing what they do with my sight.

Isabelle, 14

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