On Wednesday 18 June, The Copper Box Arena at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will play host to the annual London Panathlon multi-sport final. It will be the climax to another packed season of Panathlon events in which almost 2,000 disabled competitors from across the capital have taken part in multi-sports, primary Panathlon and swimming competitions.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The Panathlon Challenge gives thousands of children who may not otherwise have had the chance to take part in competitive sport, the opportunity to put their sporting talents to the test. I know that many of those taking part took inspiration from London’s Paralympic Games and I am sure that competing in the majestic Copper Box Arena will be a truly exhilarating experience. It gives me great pleasure to support the Panathlon organisation and I hope they go from strength to strength over the coming years.”
The Mayor’s Commissioner for Sport, Kate Hoey, said: “The Mayor and I are delighted to be supporting the Panathlon Final, the culmination of a year-long programme of fantastic sporting activity. The Panathlon Foundation do incredible work that benefits thousands of young disabled Londoners and their appearance at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a fitting finale to the year.”
The state-of-the-art venue will see approximately 200 children from 21 schools competing for both the Plate and Champions titles. Battling it out for the Champions prize will be schools from Bromley (Riverside, Marjorie McClure, Glebe), Barking & Dagenham (Jo Richardson, Trinity, All Saints, Robert Clack, Eastbrook, Barking Abbey), Harrow (Shaftesbury, Whitmore & Kingsley) and Sutton (Sherwood Park & Overton Grange).
And locking horns in the Plate competition will be Redbridge (Seven Kings & Little Heath), Brent (The Village & Woodfield), Merton (Perseid & Cricket Green) and Greenwich (Charlton Park).
Each team in the final has progressed through two regional qualifying competitions, and they will participate in a variety of sports for the right to be named 2014 London Panathlon champions. These include boccia, football, polybat, table cricket, new-age kurling, field events and athletics races.
Panathlon are excited to welcome their Ambassador, legendary Paralympic swimmer, Liz Johnson, to this year’s London final. Competing in the 100m breaststroke S6 class, Liz clinched bronze in the London 2012 Olympic Games, silver at Athens and a gold medal in Beijing and has been instrumental in recently introducing swimming to the Panathlon sporting calendar.
Liz Johnson, triple Paralympic medallist, said: “Panathlon gives every child the chance to compete. I think people underestimate what you get from competing and the friendships you build. That’s why Panathlon is important – it gives everyone the chance to compete and be part of a team. The finals are amazing, I can’t wait to be part of it!”
Also attending will be Steve Brown, who was captain of the GB wheelchair rugby team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and is a National and European Champion.
Another Patron of the Panathlon charity is TV Presenter Alex Brooker. Alex will be familiar to millions as the star of Channel 4’s London 2012 Paralympic coverage and most recently as a presenter on the hit show ‘The Last Leg’.
Alex said: “The Olympic Park became a special place in 2012. The atmosphere was incredible during the Olympics and Paralympics; so for the children taking part in the London Final, to be able to do so in the Copper Box is just amazing. It just goes to show what a great charity Panathlon is. I’m very jealous of those that are getting to take part but I wish the 200 competitors the very best of luck.”
For a full breakdown of the scores from previous rounds, click here.
Notes for editors:
- The Panathlon Foundation (charity no 1072638) has been delivering competitive opportunities for young disabled people since 1999. It will invest more than £250,000 in competitions, sports equipment and coaching funds across London and 20 Counties in 2014. Over 4,000 disabled young competitors across the country will be involved in 50 Mini-Paralympic type competitions.
St. James’s Place Foundation is the charitable arm of the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group, and started raising funds in 1992. In the 20 years it has been in existence, it has raised in excess of £25 million. It is providing £265,000 over a three-year period to help Panathlon in its work, as part of a £2 million programme of support for young people over the next three years. For more information, go to http://www1.sjp.co.uk/about-st-james-place/our-responsibilities/st-james-place-foundation.aspxMike Wilson, Chairman of the St. James’s Place Foundation, says: “I am delighted that in our 21st year we are able to invest £265,000 to help improve the lives of so many young people and their families, through the work of Panathlon, especially at this time of economic challenge generally.”
- The Jack Petchey Foundation was established in 1999 to enable young people to achieve their potential by inspiring, investing in, developing and promoting activities that increase their personal, social, emotional and physical development. Since its inception it has invested in excess of £85 million to support this aim. Jack Petchey CBE, said: “I am inspired by the work of Panathlon and it gives me great joy to see the happiness on the young people’s faces. We look forward to seeing even more disabled young people taking part in the future.” For more information visit: www.jackpetcheyfoundation.org.uk Facebook www.facebook.com/JackPetcheyFoundation
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