In a really close contest in the first round of the 2011 London Panathlon Challenge competition, held at Southfields College in SW18 on Tuesday 15 February, the team from Lambeth had an exciting if narrow win over their close neighbours from Wandsworth. The teams were tied on exactly 60 points at the end of a competitive day of sport. Lambeth won by virtue of achieving the greater number of firsts (4) in the 7 events. Both teams go through to the Central London final on 25 March.
The excellent performance of these teams was achieved at the expense of Richmond and Southwark, who will have to try again in 2012.
30 London boroughs are participating in january and February, 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 !”
NOTES TO EDITORS
· Panathlon Challenge has been delivering competitive opportunities for young disabled Londoners since 1999. It will invest £250,000 in sports equipment and coaching funds in 30 London Boroughs in 2011 and expand to all 32 London Boroughs by 2012. Panathlon are investing coaching funds, equipment and multisport competitions between January to June 2011. Panathlon will also be working in Essex, Kent, Liverpool and other cities during 2011, involving around 2,500 disabled young people in total.
· Play Sport London , as part of the Mayor’s ‘A Sporting Future for London’ plan, aims to provide free sporting opportunities to Londoners. The Play Sport London programme provides grant funding to sports clubs and community groups in order to encourage greater participation in sport in the build up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Panathlon is offered £172,000 over the next two years from the Mayors Sports Participation Fund. For more information please visit http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/sport/funding-projects/playsport
- Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall and principal adviser to London Mayor Boris Johnson as Commissioner for Sport, said: “ With the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games fast approaching, Panathlon is exactly the kind of initiative that we should all be getting behind. It brings real, competitive sport to those who might otherwise have missed out on involvement. The Mayor and I are both committed to getting as many young people as possible involved in sport. Events like this show that disability need not be any obstacle to participation. Panathlon deserve huge praise for what it is doing .”
- The Football Foundation is providing Panathlon with £242,000 between 2009 and 2011. The Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government. Since it was launched in 2000 the Foundation has funded 178 sports projects for disabled people worth £13m. For more information visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk.
- 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. In the last 10 years, in excess of £65 million has been given to a wide range of organisations and schools. http://www.jackpetcheyfoundation.org.uk
- Panathlon Challenge involves the sports of Football, Athletics, Polybat, Table Cricket, Boccia and Kurling and involves disabled children (severe Learning difficulties, physical impairments, deaf and visually impaired) aged between 5 and 19. www.panathlon.com
The Panathlon Foundation Charity (1072638) i s funded this year by the Mayor of London, Football Foundation, Jack Petchey Foundation and various trusts and charities.