Panathlon is to receive just over £66,000 from the City of London Corporation’s charity, the City Bridge Trust, that will provide more disabled young people across London with the chance to participate in sport.
The funding will be used to target specific impairment groups and engage them in a cross section of classification-specific sports, such as boccia, tennis and football.
In year one, there will be around 12 planned activities including Powerchair Athlete Days, the introduction of new sports such as Power Hockey, Deaf sports days, with competition amongst a minimum of six Deaf schools, and a visually impaired football tournament, where students will learn from Chelsea FC coaches.
All these planned activities are helped by the use of age-specific and, adapted equipment such as the VI Boccia grid and attachments to powerchairs for football and hockey. For many of the young participants, it will be the first time that they have engaged in competitive sport.
Tony Waymouth, Chief Operating Officer of Panathlon, said: “This grant comes at an exciting time in our organisation. We are actively engaging with specific impairment groups who are often locked out of participating in sport because of their complex needs. These young people can often face more barriers than other disability groups, and this programme will provide both opportunities to participate and to link into community pathways.
“Through our pilot work, we already have shown that a number of our activities and initiatives get these children active and improve their health and wellbeing. The fact that the grant is over three years will allow us to plan, improve and develop our structures that will ensure we are sufficiently supporting young people with complex and physical needs.”
Jeremy Mayhew, Chairman of the City Bridge Trust, said: “Many children with complex physical impairments have to overcome huge challenges to participate in sport. Physical activities are important in helping young people gain in confidence, develop team-building skills and keep fit and healthy. The work of Panathlon boosts inclusion, provides specialised coaching and equipment, and gives severely disabled people the opportunity to experience the joy of sport like their able-bodied counterparts.”
City Bridge Trust aims to address disadvantage across Greater London, providing grants of more than £15 million per year to charitable projects in London on behalf of the City of London Corporation.