Defending champions Thurrock have booked their place in the Essex final of the prestigious 2012 Panathlon Challenge.

Thurrock, represented by Beacon Hill School, triumphed in the south Essex semi-final with 54 points at Chelmsford’s Riverside Sports Centre. West Essex, represented by Oak View School in Loughton, finished as runners-up with 50 points and Castle Point (Glenwood School) were third with 40 points.

The competition which is funded in Essex by London Stansted Airport, Hilton Foundation, the Woodland Group and the Jack Petchey Foundation.

Beacon Hill won the Boccia, Polybat and both field and racing athletics events to qualify for the final at Basildon Sports Village on June 28. West Essex also qualified, with two more teams to qualify from Thursday’s northern semi-final.

Brandon Mullin, PE teacher at Beacon Hill, said: “It was fantastic to start our Panathlon journey again, it is the only competition suited to our students as it caters for all ability levels. “We are proud of our achievements today. It’s always great to go home with a host of medals and we look forward to defending our title on June 28”.

Students from Great Baddow School were trained as Young Leaders and officiated on the day. Panathlon has also trained staff members from BAA Stansted to be officials and they helped to run the competitions._Q4M1240