BlueBay staff volunteers

Panathlon and BlueBay Asset Management are delighted to announce a two-year partnership which will help us expand provision of sporting activity for children with disabilities and special needs across the country.

An initial BlueBay donation of £25,000 will kickstart Panathlon activity in locations including North Yorkshire/East Riding, Blackburn and Bolton, Coventry/Warwickshire and Basildon in Essex, plus national support in other programme areas.

Panathlon’s multi-sport, swimming, football and other sporting programmes give participants the opportunity to represent their school in sporting competition that they are so often otherwise denied. Our events have a transformational impact on participants’ skills, self-esteem, confidence, health and wellbeing.

Prior to Covid-19, we were on track to beat our record annual participation figure of 22,000 competitors in 2019/20. After the virus struck, we adapted by launching our Virtual Programme which allowed Panathlon competitions to take place in schools. It had over 25,000 child entries from 300 schools in its first term alone.

BlueBay are no strangers to Panathlon, with staff members having volunteered several times before at events across the south-east of England. Their teams have seen first-hand the benefits that participation in Panathlon can bring young people.

Under the ‘BlueBay Cares’ name, BlueBay’s Corporate Responsibility framework comprises four pillars: “Our responsibility to our people, for our conduct, to our communities and to our environment.”

BlueBay staff volunteering at our 2019 West London Final

Matt Richards of BlueBay Asset Management said: “Supporting our communities is at the heart of our charitable focus, and our staff voted to make Panathlon a charity partner because of the fantastic hands-on assistance the charity provides in improving the lives of children with disabilities and special needs throughout the UK. We look forward to working with Panathlon in fundraising and volunteering in support of these young people.”

Ashley Iceton, CEO of Panathlon, said: “We are delighted that BlueBay are going to be providing new specialised equipment, coaching provision and resource support in the year ahead.

“Hopefully, when conditions allow, they will also be able to offer volunteer support once again at some of our competitions so their staff will be able to see the positive impact we have on young people up close.”

BlueBay’s support has already funded resources to allow schools to participate in the Virtual Programme (which supports schools to host their own internal Panathlon events during the pandemic).

Gillas Lane School in Sunderland, for example, have received target mats to play Panathlon’s Precision Beanbag game. (see below).

Panathlon will be working with BlueBay to create other fundraising activities and opportunities throughout the year.