Olympic Torch Relay comes to Stoke Mandeville


IWAS and local community join in the celebration and witness GB Wheelchair Fencer, Gemma Collis carry the torch

On Monday the 9th July, staff from the IWAS office were lucky enough to witness the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, which visited on its route,  Stoke Mandeville Stadium – home to IWAS and Wheelpower HQ’s.

Day 51 saw the Olympic Torch Relay come to our area, Aylesbury and Stoke Mandeville in what was an exciting event, for the local community. The Olympic torch which stands for Peace, Unity & Friendship will travel through 1,000 villages, town and cities on its journey throughout the UK on its way to the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on Friday 27th July 2012.

What made the event even more exciting for IWAS was the fact we were able to witness local girl and GB Wheelchair Fencer, Gemma Collis carry the Olympic Torch. Gemma, who started her Paralympic Sporting career playing Wheelchair Basketball in 2010, discovered Wheelchair Fencing shortly after starting her undergraduate Law degree at Durham University. Competing for Great Britain for the first time at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Malchow, Germany in both Foil and Epee (Category A). More recently in 2012, Gemma competed at the Nottingham Open where she won silver in the women’s Foil and an impressive gold in the women’s Epee, securing herself a place in the GB Wheelchair Fencing team for London 2012.

Gemma was nominated to carry the flame in recognition for so many of her achievements, including over 900 hours of sports volunteering, being a platinum Ambassador for Sport and giving speeches about the importance of Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Values, to name just a few.
To read more about Gemma and her nomination – click here

To witness Gemma and her team mates during London 2012, the Wheelchair Fencing event will be held at the largest competition venue of the Games, the ExCeL from the 4th – 8th September.