The first ever Panathlon Challenge took place at Braintree College on Nov 20th involving around 50 disabled students in 5 sports. The winners were Southview special school, from the NW Essex School Sports Partnership.

Five special schools took part in total from the School sport partnerships of NW Essex, Colchester and Colne.  Students at Braintree College assisted the disabled young people taking part and officiated the sports being played.

The Panathlon Challenge has bought specialised sports equipment including Polybat, New age Kurling and Athletics equipment generously paid for by a grant from the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation.  The disabled young people will go on to receive coaching over the next few months before they compete in their first major Panathlon Challenge ( like the Paralympics) in April 2009.

Danny Crates, Paralympian Gold Medalist and local Essex boy, was on hand to award medals to students and take in the action. Danny carried the GB flag in to the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing and is also a sporting patron of the Panathlon Challenge Charity.

Ashley Iceton from the Panathlon Challenge said, “The first Panathlon Challenge in Essex was a great success !!  The young people competing showed talent and much enthusiasm !! We look forward to involving more disabled young people in Essex throughout 2009. “

•    Panathlon Challenge has been delivering competitive opportunities for young people in various cities, including London, Liverpool and Bristol since 1996. Panathlon now concentrates its fundraising and work for young people with disabilities.  It will involve around 2,500 young people during 2009 and this year will involve expansion to the counties of Essex and Kent.
•    Panathlon Challenge will be delivering training days, free sports equipment and coaching funds across Essex in 2009. First Round competitions will take place in April and the Final will be in July. It is expected that up to 250 young disabled people will benefit.
•    The Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation was established as the focal point for all the Yorkshire Building Society’s charitable giving.  The Foundation supports charities and good causes throughout the UK demonstrating the value and support the Yorkshire provides to communities where members and staff live and work. Since its first donation in 1999 the Foundation has given away over £2.5 million
•    The Panathlon Foundation Charity (1072638) is funded in the whole of Essex by The Jack Petchey Foundation, Essex Youth Trust & the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation.
•    Panathlon has won three National Sportsmatch Awards and was awarded Community Organisation of the Year 2006, by the London Development Agency.
•    Dame Tanni Grey -Thompson, one of the UK’s most distinguished athletes of all time, winner of 11 Paralympic gold medals and holder of 30 world records, and also a strong supporter of the Panathlon Challenge says “Panathlon is striving to give everyone a chance to participate, regardless of ability and that is something I applaud.  Good luck to everyone taking part in the Panathlon Challenge this year.”
•    Further details about Panathlon Challenge can be obtained from

Enquiries to –
Ashley Iceton, Panathlon Challenge, 01277 373580 or