In one of the most exciting Panathlon Challenge finals in many years, 3 teams, Barking and Dagenham, Liko Team Newham and Bromley, fought it out to the last race to decide which would emerge as champions in 2009.
The judges spent some anxious moments before declaring that Barking and Dagenham had narrowly beaten their main rivals to become champions. They amassed the impressive total of 62 points, closely followed by Newham on 58 and Bromley on 56. Giles Long MBE, multi-medalist from the Paralympic Games was on hand to encourage the athletes and award medals to all the winners.
The event took place at the Westway Sports Centre London W10 on 25 June. Six teams took part, having won through to the final from preliminary rounds earlier in the year. The other teams were from, Brent who came 4th, Wandsworth 5th and Waltham Forest 6th.
150 disabled athletes aged between 8 and 18 took part, roughly 25 representing each of the participating boroughs. The event was attended by a healthy crowd, who thrilled to the performances of the young athletes. 5 sports were competed for during the exciting days competition, which is like a mini – “Paralympics” in one day and the culmination of 6 months coaching and preparation by all the teams.
Ashley Iceton the event organiser said “We always get top class performances from our young athletes at the London finals but today has been the closest ever finish. All credit to the teams and the coaching staff for giving us such a memorable day. We are used to going down to the last race but today was exceptional, Congratulations to everyone taking part and winning medals today.”
The event this year was generously funded by the Football Foundation, the Jack Petchey Foundation and the Peter Harrison Foundation, who all support the Panathlon charity. Additionally the Liko Team Newham team have been supported with a unique sporting club paid for by Liko UK Ltd, which has enabled many more disabled youngsters in the Borough of Newham the chance to be involved in the Panathlon Challenge in 2009.
The event will recommence early in 2010.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
• Panathlon Challenge has been delivering competitive opportunities for young people in various cities, including London, Liverpool and Plymouth since 1996. Panathlon now concentrates its fundraising and work for young people with disabilities. It has already involved around 2,500 young people during 2009 including expansion to the counties of Essex and Kent. Panathlon Challenge delivered training days, free sports equipment and coaching funds across 24 London Boroughs in 2009.
• The Panathlon Foundation Charity (1072638) is funded this year by the Football Foundation, Jack Petchey Foundation, Peter Harrison Foundation and various trusts and charities.
• The Football Foundation will provide Panathlon £242,000 over the next three years to enable expansion of the project to every London Borough. The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports charity funded by the Premier League, The FA, Sport England and the Government. Its mission is to improve facilities, create opportunities and build communities throughout England. As the country’s largest funder of grass roots football, the Foundation has delivered thousands of facility and community projects, Its unique partnership with the Premier League, The FA, Sport England and the Government, each of whom invest £15m every year, ensures it delivers funding at grass roots level. www.footballfoundation.org.uk
• The Jack Petchey Foundation was established in 1999 and gives grants to programmes and projects that benefit young people aged 11-25. The Foundation is eager to help young people take advantage of opportunities and play a full part in society. The Foundation focuses on London and Essex. Since it has been established the Foundation has awarded grants totalling over £50million. http://www.jackpetcheyfoundation.org.uk
• Liko (UK) Ltd., one of the leading suppliers of patient lifts and slings for care staff & physically disabled patients, is investing £3,000 in the Panathlon Challenge in 2009. www.liko.co.uk
• Dame Tanni Grey -Thompson, one of the UK’s most distinguished athletes of all time, winner of 11 Paralympic gold medals and holder of 30 world records, and also a strong supporter of the Panathlon Challenge says “Panathlon is striving to give everyone a chance to participate, regardless of ability and that is something I applaud. Good luck to everyone taking part in the Panathlon Challenge this year.”
• Further details about Panathlon Challenge can be obtained from www.panathlon.com
Enquiries to –
• Ashley Iceton, Panathlon Challenge, 01277 373580 or Ashley@panathlon.com
• John Hymers, Spot on Marketing & Communications- 01704 533197 or firstname.lastname@example.org