Sussex table tennis star Tyler Paul said he was ‘absolutely shocked’ to be chosen as the West Sussex Flame Ambassador for the Paralympic Lantern Celebration and hopes to be taking part in the Games himself in Rio de Janeiro in four years’ time.
Tyler, 19, will be travelling to London later this month to pick up the West Sussex piece of the Paralympic Flame and bring it back to the county.
The Flame will be officially welcomed to Horsham and West Sussex on Saturday August 25 through a Lantern Celebration Event led by Horsham District Council on behalf of the Ahead of the Game partnership.
Speaking about being chosen for the role, Tyler, from Worthing said: “I think it’s amazing that I’ve been selected I was absolutely shocked but I’m really proud to be doing it after the London 2012 Olympics and after all the achievements we’ve had over there.”
Tyler is looking forward to the start of the Paralympic Games, which begin in September.
He said: “I’m really, really excited. I know so many of the actual athletes that are competing because I’ve been to Stoke Mandeville, where there was a big competition where all different people got to try different sports and from then on they’ve actually got into the Great Britain team.”
Tyler said winning a bronze medal at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport Federation World Junior Games 2011 in Dubai last year was one of his greatest achievements.
He said: “That was a really good experience, just going over there really and competing. And also, being able to compete in an able bodied league, I competed against able bodied players in a local league. That was an achievement in itself.”
Tyler credits his success to his time studying at Angmering School in Worthing.
He said: “Whilst I was there, I had the opportunity to play loads of different disability sports.
“So Angmering School was where I first decided I really enjoyed table tennis. From then on, I went to Stoke Mandeville and started playing and I really picked it up and really want to represent my country in the Paralympics, hopefully.”
There will be a range of sporting activities available for people to have a go at during the Paralympic Lantern Celebration event in Horsham Park on Saturday August 25 2012.
For more information about the Paralympic Lantern Celebration event taking place in Horsham, phone 01403 215216, email email@example.com or visit www.westsussex-aheadofthegame.com
In case of bad weather, the event will still go ahead but some details and locations may change. Any updates will be posted on Horsham District Council’s website (www.horsham.gov.uk) and Facebook and Twitter (www.twitter.com/horshamdc) pages.
A West Sussex piece of the Paralympic Flame will be brought to West Sussex from London in a Paralympic Lantern. The event in Horsham is intended to be a small scale celebration.
Please note that the Paralympic Torch will run overnight from Stoke Mandeville to London from Tuesday August 28 to Wednesday August 29 for the lighting of the main cauldron at the Olympic Stadium for the Paralympic Games.
To watch a video interview with Tyler Paul, visit Horsham District Council’s YouTube page (www.youtube.com/horshamdc)