Panathlon celebrates the start of 2012 with a major financial boost from its funding partner, The Jack Petchey Foundation.

The Panathlon Challenge has been providing sporting activities for disabled young people aged between five and 19 since 1999. The new grant of £78,245 from the Foundation will guarantee the participation of around 100 schools across London and Essex during 2012.

Danny Crates, who won 800m gold at the 2004 Paralympics and carried the GB flag four years ago in Beijing, is patron for the charity.

He said: “Panathlon is a fantastic opportunity for young disabled people to take part in sporting competition and I thank the Jack Petchey Foundation for investing consistently in the expansion of the Panathlon Challenge in recent years.”

The Foundation has now invested over £250,000 in Panathlon over the last eight years. Set up in 1999 by businessman Jack Petchey, it has donated in excess of £65million towards projects which give opportunities to young people aged between 11 and 25 in London and Essex.

Trudy Kilcullen, Chief Operations Officer for the Foundation 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.“

The Panathlon Challenge incorporates the sports of boccia, polybat, table cricket, new-age kurling, football and athletics. It starts in January and culminates in a London final in June .

The new investment will allow the charity to develop its coaching awards, leadership courses and official qualifications for disabled young people. Additional funding will enable development of Powerchair football for wheelchair users.

Panathlon will also continue to develop the Jack Petchey Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award to recognise exceptional contributions from disabled young people.

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, one of the UK’s most distinguished athletes of all time and the winner of 11 Paralympic gold medals, is also a supporter of the Panathlon Challenge.

She said: “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.”



· Panathlon Challenge has been delivering competitive opportunities for young disabled Londoners since 1999. It incorporates the sports of Boccia, Polybat, table cricket, new-age kurling, football and athletics, and involves disabled children aged between five and 19

· During 2012 it will invest £250,000 in sports equipment and coaching funds in 32 London boroughs and 10 areas in Essex. Multi-sport competitions will take place between January to June 2012. Panathlon will also be working in Kent, Wiltshire, Merseyside and other cities during 2012, involving around 3,000 disabled young people in total. To find out more visit

· The Panathlon Foundation Charity (1072638) is funded this year by the Mayor of London, St James’s Place Foundation and various other trusts and charities.

· 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 £65million. Jack Petchey was awarded a CBE in 2011. To find out more visit

Enquiries to:

Ashley Iceton, Panathlon Challenge 01279 680980 or

Simon Lansley, ConnectSport 07973 595791 or