Thousands of Panathlon competitors will battle it out to appear at one of London 2012’s premier venues after Panathlon secured the Copper Box Arena as the venue for its London Final next summer.
The charity has agreed a three year partnership with charitable social enterprise GLL, to use facilities throughout 2014, culminating in the London Final at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on June 18. This will enable 300 disabled young athletes to emulate their heroes by competing at an official Paralympic venue.
Helen Turner, GB wheelchair basketball star, said: “As a GB Paralympian and Panathlon patron, it is fantastic news that next year’s final will be hosted at the Copper Box Arena, which has recently held the 2012 Paralympic anniversary games. “It is a venue I know well, and is perfect for the Panathlon final which will help inspire the next generation of Paralympians. I look forward to welcoming the athletes myself to the Olympic Park on June 18.”
Panathlon will be using a host of GLL operated venues across London in 2014 including Clissold Leisure Centre in Hackney, Hendon Leisure Centre in Barnet, Swiss Cottage in Camden and Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
Eighteen multi-sport qualifying competitions, each with approximately 100 disabled competitors, will take place between January and June to decide the line-up for the London Final in the Olympic Park.
GLL operate leisure facilities under their customer brand Better, they are a social enterprise, which means all profits are reinvested into community projects, refurbishing facilities and providing brand new state-of-the-art equipment for local communities.
Phil Lane, GLL, Head of Sport said ‘GLL is committed to ensuring our facilities are accessible and inclusive for all. We are delighted to be host the Panathlon Challenge and we hope it inspires more children with disabilities to take up a sport.
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Panathlon to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We want to continue to showcase the best of disability sport and inspire the next generation of Paralympic athletes. As part of the commitment to securing a strong Paralympic legacy, the Legacy Corporation is supporting Motivate East, which encourages disabled people within the Olympic host boroughs to find a route into sports and physical activities.”
For Panathlon, it is a welcome return to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In April 2012, twenty Panathletes were the first disabled racers on the Olympic track in an official test event, prior to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. See that race here
Notes for editors:
- The Panathlon Foundation (charity no 1072638) has been delivering competitive opportunities for young disabled people since 1999. It has invested over £350,000 in sports equipment, coaching funds and 50 Mini-Paralympic like competitions across London, and 17 other counties in 2013.
- The Copper Box Arena hosted the Handball and Modern Pentathlon Fencing during the Olympic Games and Goalball during the Paralympic Games. It is now being transformed into a new venue with flexible seating capacity and facilities for a wide range of indoor sports training and competitions as well as cultural and business events.
- It will be one of the first legacy venues re-opened in September 2013 and is located in the west of the Park close to Hackney Wick station and near to the Press and Broadcast Centres.
- The Arena will serve as a venue for a variety of indoor sports. The highly flexible design means it will be used for all levels of sports participation, from events to high performance training to community use. For more information visit www.better.org.uk/copper_box
- About GLL. The Copper Box is operated by GLL a charitable social enterprise, created to manage community services and spaces. GLL oversees the management of over 100 leisure centres and 24 libraries across the UK. GLL is an employee-owned society and works in partnership with fifteen London boroughs, two city councils, four borough councils, six district councils and three associated partners, including the London Legacy Development Corporation on the operation of the Copper Box Arena and London Aquatics Centre in legacy mode. Other charitable partners, Freedom Leisure and Halo Leisure manage further leisure facilities across the South East of England and Bridgend, South Wales on behalf of GLL. www.gll.org
For further more information, please contact:
- Simon Lansley, Connect Sport 07973 595791 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ashley Iceton, Panathlon Challenge 01279 680980 or email@example.com