Children from Southview School were welcomed by team members at Hilton London Stansted Airport hotel as part of a charity presentation to the Panathlon Foundation.

The pupils from Southview School in Witham, a day special school for physically and neurologically impaired learners, took part in Panathlon’s latest sporting challenge event, held at London Stansted Airport terminal this morning. They then received lunch at the hotel as part of the hotel team’s ongoing support for Panathlon through their Hilton in the Community Foundation work.

Panathlon received more than just lunch on the day however. They were also presented with a cheque for £4,984.70 to benefit hundreds of disabled young people in Essex and thousands more around the country. The money has been raised by Hilton staff, local schools and Panathlon supporters as part of an annual summer fundraiser organised by Hilton in the Community Foundation, the charitable arm of Hilton Worldwide in Europe. The event saw participants raise sponsored funds by taking part in a day of fitness challenges.

According to Robert Watts, general manager Hilton London Stansted, the presentation is the culmination of a real team effort at the hotel. He said: “Our community work is an important part of our hospitality philosophy and our team is thrilled to be able to support Panathlon as a result. Giving these young people the opportunities to show their talents and skills is the best possible way for us to show our support for them.”

Panathlon offers free training courses, specialist equipment supply, coaching funds and multi-sport competitions, in various towns around Essex. Young disabled people with a range of abilities come together and are able to compete in different sports.

Ashley Iceton from Panathlon said:

“It is fantastic that Hilton in the Community Foundation and the Hilton London Stansted team are supporting Panathlon in Essex again in 2011/12. This means many more young disabled people will be able to receive adapted sports equipment and compete within the Panathlon Challenge in the year ahead.”

Danny Crates said, “Panathlon Challenge is a fantastic competition for young disabled people, and I’ve witnessed the enthusiasm and skills of the competitors first-hand. It is going to be a great twelve months of inspiring sporting action with the London 2012 Games coming. It’s great to see local disabled children competing in their own type of “Paralympic Games” through the Panathlon Challenge.”