Stoke Mandeville Stadium has become the tradtional home for the lighting of the Paralympic Torch ©AVDC

Schoolchildren in Buckinghamshire in England are to be given the unique opportunity to design the cauldron that will be centre stage at the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony for Tokyo 2020 at Stoke Mandeville Stadium next year.

A new, specially commissioned Paralympic Heritage Flame Cauldron is set to be created for the Tokyo 2020, and future, Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting events at the Stadium.

It is the National Centre for Disability Sport in England and sited alongside Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, where the pioneering rehabilitation work carried out there by Sir Ludwig Guttmann led to the development of the Paralympic Games.

Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) has now issued a call for talented, local students to get involved in the design process in two sessions this Autumn run by outdoor arts company, Festive Road, and attended by the National Paralympic Heritage Trust.

Selected students will then have the opportunity to participate in the manufacture of the cauldron at a Festive Road workshop in nearby Milton Keynes.

Taking place at the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement, the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony on August 20 next yer is planned to be another spectacular outdoor celebration and will form part of the official Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay.

The Cauldron will be an integral part of the ceremony and wider heritage celebration event for the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay and future similar events. 

Stoke Mandeville Stadium will play a starring role in the Paralympic Torch Relay for Tokyo 2020 ©Tokyo 2020
Stoke Mandeville Stadium will play a starring role in the Paralympic Torch Relay for Tokyo 2020 ©Tokyo 2020

Positioned in pride of place, the cauldron will be used to light the Paralympic Heritage Flame which is then virtually passed to the hosting country.

In Tokyo, groups of three Torchbearers will transport the flame to three regions in Japan. 

The flames will visit schools, hospitals and facilities connected with the Paralympics.

A digital flame has already been approved for sharing on social media.

It will then return to Tokyo to be brought back together to form the Paralympic Flame for the Opening Ceremony of the Games in the Japanese capital on August 25. 

"I am extremely proud of our Paralympic heritage," Paul Irwin, the AVDC Cabinet member for environment and leisure, said. 

"The eyes of the world will be focused on Stoke Mandeville Stadium on Thursday 20 August 2020 as AVDC and our event partners stage another world-class event, celebrating disability and inclusivity in sport and sending our best wishes and support to all Paralympians in Tokyo."