Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Thursday, 15 September 2011 16:58 UK

Four flames to mark the 2012 Paralympic Games

School Reporter Fatima interviewing Paralympic swimmer Dave Roberts
School Reporter Fatima interviews Team GB Paralympic swimmer Dave Roberts

By Fatima, 14
School Reporter from Mulberry School for Girls, London

Today we went to the Olympic Park in Stratford, London for the media launch of the London 2012 Paralympics Torch Relay.

Security was tight (as you'd expect!) and so I waited patiently with my passport to get in. As I was handed my media pass, I felt a rush of pride but my nerves got worse the closer it got to be my first ever BBC News School Report interview!

From the entrance, we were taken by minibus to the Aquatic Centre, right in the middle of the Olympic Park. I wondered what we would see, but the building is mostly complete even though the grounds are still very much a building site.

Standing looking at the Olympic site I felt excited that such a large event is so close and it felt a bit more real. This is the closest I've ever been and I loved it.

Our minibus contained a mixture of athlete and other media people - no sign of Lord Coe yet!

Exclusive access

On arrival at the Aquatics Centre I was told about the children who were making special lanterns for the event and got ready to report. There were lots of other journalists and photographers there.

Then, Erin, one of the London 2012 team organisers told me to follow her....

From the reception room full of press, she showed us secretly to a door and invited us through alone.

Fatima having a sneak look at the London 2012 Aquatics Centre
Fatima had a sneak look at the London 2012 Aquatics Centre

She gave me an exclusive surprise look at the Olympic swimming pool! No other press were invited to see it. It was mind-blowingly huge and beautiful. The water looked clean and inviting.

During the Games, the Aquatics Centre will hold 17,500 spectators to watch the Olympic and Paralympic swimming and diving.

Then back to work - to find out more about the Paralympic Torch Relay plans.

Torch talk

The torch relay will feature a new concept and have four separate flames to be lit in London, Belfast, and Edinburgh and Cardiff. A special flame festival will be held in each nation of the UK.

A ceremony will then bring all the flames together to create the 2012 Paralympic flame. This will be held at Stoke Mandeville, the home of the Paralympics movement (as this is where in 1948 the Paralympic Games began).

Lastly, there will be a 24 hour overnight touch relay from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Park in Stratford for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics games.

The official Paralympic Torch Relay announcement photograph with athletes, local children and Lord Coe
The official Paralympic Torch Relay announcement photograph with athletes, local children and Lord Coe

I spoke to some of the guests about what they thought about the Paralympic Torch plans and 2012 Games.

Paralympians on the spot

Gold-medal winning cyclist Aileen McGlynn told me she hopes "it will inspire the next generation of athletes to compete for their country."

Lee Pearson, a member of the Equestrian team, said he thought "it is good for the Paralympics to have their own torch relay and identity." He also said he didn't think it would be a good idea for him to carry it as his horse wouldn't like the flames!

Other people I interviewed were Paralympic swimmer Dave Roberts and former 800m runner Danny Crates and then at the end I got the chance to speak to Lord Coe who is in charge of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He said he thought it was important that the Paralympic Torch Relay "is different in scope and spirit", and also agreed with me that the swimming pool is amazing. He said "everytime I go my breath is taken away."

Having left the Olympic Park I am looking forward to the London 2012 Games beginning!

I'm also so glad I had the chance to be at this media event as people didn't think of me as a 14-year-old kid, although it was really scary. I now feel more confident as I had a chance to experience being a journalist!



SEE ALSO
Paralympian eyes Games legacy
24 Mar 11 |  School Report
Land's End lights the way to London 2012
18 May 11 |  School Report


BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific