The Panathlon Challenge will be the focus of London Stansted’s fundraising efforts for 2012 after being chosen as the airport’s inaugural charity partner of the year.

The Essex based charity, which came top in a staff vote, works with local schools across the South East and organises sporting competitions for disabled youngsters. Holder of the coveted Inspire Mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme*, the organisation also offers free training courses, supplies specialist equipment and provides qualified coaching and expertise.

Danny Crates, Paralympic Gold Medallist from Essex and sporting patron of the Panathlon charity, said:

“It is fantastic news that Stansted staff have chosen the Panathlon Challenge as their first ever charity partner. Panathlon provides Paralympic type sports competitions for young disabled people in Essex and London.

“As a local charity based at Stansted, this partnership with the airport is truly exciting and I hope will help us provide more sports equipment, coaching and sports competitions for local disabled children in 2012. We will now work on a programme of activities at the airport and look forward to a great year working together.”

The partnership will include a series of fundraising events in the terminal including a special mini Paralympic Games, and airport staff will be encouraged to get involved in volunteering projects.

Marcella M’Rabety, Stansted Airport’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, added:

“With the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games fast approaching, what better way to maximise the sporting legacy of the Games than getting our local young people involved in sport. We short-listed two sporting charities that work with both able bodied and disabled young people and put the vote to our staff.

“The Panathlon Challenge topped the ballot and we’re delighted to welcome them as our first ever charity partner. This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us at Stansted to make a real difference and to showcase the dedication, support and commitment of the airport and its staff.”


Notes to editors:

Photograph: London Stansted and the Panathlon Challenge celebrated one year to go until the London 2012 Paralympic Games with a special event at the airport in September 2011.

Caption: Essex Paralympic Champions, Dan Bentley (front row centre) from Great Dunmow and Danny Crates (back row right), teamed up to play children from Witham’s Southview School, Stansted Airport’s Operations Director, Martin Lyall (back row left) in the Paralympic Sport of Boccia at the terminal building.

The Youth Sports Trust was the other charity considered for Stansted Airport’s first charity of the year.

The airport has a number of community funds that provide grants to charitable causes for communities surrounding the airport. These are part of the on-going support and social responsibility activities that help the airport build bridges with the local community. The Panathlon Challenge is expected to provide a strong focus to the airport’s fundraising efforts for 2012.

Panathlon was granted the Inspire Mark for its ground breaking work in developing football opportunities for visually impaired young people and Powerchair users, with the Wheelchair Football Association. The London 2012 Inspire programme is awarded for innovative and exceptional projects inspired by the Games.

Danny Crates has been the Panathlon Sporting Patron for three years. Danny Won gold in Athens in 2004 Paralympics at 800m and carried the GB team flag at the Opening Ceremony in Beijing in 2008.