Designer follows dream at Paralympic Flame Ceremony

A Robert Gordon University (RGU) student was honoured to play a role in the Paralympic Heritage Flame Ceremony earlier this month.

Seed PacksGray’s School of Art student, Cal Docherty, was selected to be part of the design team for the ceremony that took place at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, on Friday 2 September.

The event featured the lighting of the Paralympic Heritage Flame – the only torch lighting outside of the host country, Brazil. This flame travelled to Brazil, to be combined with others from across Brazil and arrive in the Olympic stadium for the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Cal said: “The ceremony’s performance was called ‘The Seeds of Diversity’ and it demonstrated the values at the roots of the Paralympic movement, started by Sir Ludwig Guttman in the 1940s.

“My role was to design seed packets, portraying famous Paralympic names, such as David Weir, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock. The flowers I painted on each packet had symbols that reflected the power, success and inspiration of these athletes.”

The Paralympic Heritage Flame Ceremony is held in Stoke Mandeville, made famous as the place where Sir Ludwig Guttman created the first sporting competitions for disabled people in 1948.

This year’s ceremony was directed by Bradley Hemmings, who was the director of the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, and was broadcast live on Channel 4.

Cal, who is from Glasgow, said: “The design and branding of the London 2012 Olympics was what inspired me to study at Art School in the first place. So, to be involved with the Paralympic Torch lighting was a dream for me.”

Cameron Craddock, Senior Lecturer in Communication Design at Gray’s School of Art, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Cal and one he should be extremely proud of. Cal has been fully committed to his studies throughout his time here at RGU and we’re confident that this international exposure will help provide a platform for his future career as he goes from strength to strength.”


Release by Jonathon Milne
Communications Officer | Health and Social Care
Press and Media Enquiries

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