Breaking News ! Newham Become Champions 2011
Thirty Teams set off 6 months ago with the aim of getting to the Final. The 5 Finalists had battled through and were winners of regional heats, but only one could be London Champion 2011
The Finallists were, from Haringey, Harrow, Lambeth, Newham and Croydon, competed at the Westway Sports Centre on Thursday 16 June to see battle commence. They were joined by 2 Paralympian stars who were there to lend their support. A fantastic day of intense sporting competition followed and when it was all over the Newham champions had edged ahead of nearest rivals Harrow by 4 points to become Panathlon Champions of London 2011. Croydon finished third, followed by Lambeth and Haringey.
250 athletes with severe learning difficulties and/or physical impairments, aged between 8 and 18, competed in the sports of Boccia, New Age Kurling, Football, Polybat, Table Cricket and Athletics for the honour of being crowned Panathlon Champions 2011. Over 1,000 young disabled people from 30 teams, set out in January with the aim of getting to this final.
Helen Turner, and Louise Sugden, Paralympic World Cup Gold Medallists (Wheelchair Gold Medalists) in Manchester in May, attended the event to encourage the competitors and award medals. They were joined by Kate Hoey, London’s Commissioner for Sport.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, through the Sports Legacy Plan, is supporting Panathlon with £86,000 in 2011 and the same amount next year. This will mean 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. He said: “It is fantastic to see the Panathlon Challenge going from strength to strength every year, helping to inspire young people to get involved in sport. Grass roots competitions such as this are crucial if we are to achieve our goal of building a lasting sporting legacy in the capital from the 2012 Games. My Sports Legacy Fund was established to support exactly this kind of event.”
The Panathlon Challenge is now in its tenth successful year of delivering sporting opportunities and “mini-paralympic” type competitions for young disabled Londoners. This year over 1,500 participants have benefitted from Panathlon coaching, with 1,000 of those going on to represent their borough in the competition.
There was also a mini-competition of Powerchair Football involving 20 severely disabled young people in a ground breaking project with the Wheelchair Football Association and Brentford FC Community Trust. Panathlon supported by the Football Foundation, have created five Powerchair Football clubs in London supported with specialist equipment and coaching.
Additionally there was a demonstration game by visually impaired footballlers. Panathlon has been granted the Inspire Mark, the official badge of the London 2012 Inspire Programme for this work.
Panathlon’s work in creating football opportunities over the next two years for visually impaired footballers is one example of inspiration fired by the 2012 Paralympics. Panathlon plans to follow its successful model in developing Powerchair football, and create 5 clubs across London with coaching and competitive opportunities for visually impaired footballers.
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.”
Paul Thorogood , Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Panathlon does outstanding work in opening up a wide range of sports to our capital’s d isabled young people. The Football Foundation’s funding has enabled Panathlon to provide football for around 500 footballers with severe learning difficulties and 50 Powerchair footballers from five newly created Panathlon clubs across London this year.”
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.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Panathlon Challenge has been delivering competitive opportunities for young disabled Londoners since 1999. It has invested £250,000 in sports equipment and coaching funds in 30 London Boroughs in 2011 and expand to all 32 London Boroughs by 2012. Panathlon will also be working in Essex, Kent, Liverpool and other cities during 2011, involving around 2,500 disabled young people.
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
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