Harrow Triumph in West London Panathlon

The next phase in the first round of the 2011 Panathlon Challenge competition, held at the Hillingdon Sports complex in Uxbridge on Friday 21 January resulted in a resounding victory for the team from Harrow. They almost achieved a “full house” of wins, beating their opponents from Brent and Hillingdon in every sport apart from the flat athletics. In all they amassed the impressive total of 66 points to win the competition quite comfortably, including 6 straight wins in the other sports.

Brent finished second and will join Harrow in the next round. For Hillingdon, third on the day, but only 2 points behind Brent, it’s a case of try harder next year!

30 London boroughs will participate over the next 8 weeks to determine who goes ahead to the 5 area finals in March. At the end of the area finals, 5 teams will emerge to compete for the ultimate prize in June; the London Panathlon Challenge Champions 2011.

The Mayor of London, through his Sports Legacy Fund, is supporting Panathlon with £86,000 in 2011 and the same amount next year. This means that in the three years in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, he will have invested £255,000 in developing grass roots disability sport in London, through Panathlon. Boris Johnson said, ‘ The Panathlon Challenge is a fantastic competition. It is about taking part, aspiration and achievement, three of the best motivators for young people.”

The Panathlon Challenge is now in its tenth successful year of delivering sporting opportunities and “mini-paralympic” type competitions for young disabled Londoners. Around 100 athletes aged between 8 and 18, (30 to 35 each from the boroughs involved), will compete against each other in the sports of Boccia, New Age Kurling, Polybat, Football, Table Cricket and Athletics

Trudy Kilcullen , Chief Operations Officer for The Jack Petchey Foundation, which is investing £50,000 in Panathlon in London and Essex in 2011, said. “ We believe that all young people should have the opportunity to achieve their potential. Panathlon is the only organisation that enables young disabled people to participate fully in competitive sports designed to suit their needs. We fully support their work and look forward to seeing even more disabled young people becoming coaches and sports leaders in the future.”

Danny Crates, Paralympic Champion and Panathlon charity patron said: “ Panathlon is a fantastic opportunity for young disabled Londoners to take part in sporting competition and I wish them well in their search for medals Good luck to everyone competing !”