Bromley Winners Panathlon 2008-9 saw the introduction of football to the Panathlon experience. This was due to additional funding, gratefully received, from the Football Foundation, with my role commencing in December 2008. The first tournament was held in the East, on 11th February 2009, and due to the short timescale, this meant an extremely busy period for all involved! Despite the lack of time involved, all borough coordinators, teachers, referees and especially the players, pulled together to help make each individual tournament a success. Even the weather helped us in the majority of cases, with rain arriving as soon as the medals had been handed out! In all, 331 players competed in 5 regional finals, with the finals taking place at the Westway on 17th June. 90 players represented the boroughs of Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Brent and Bromley. The results from the football finals then went forward to the main Panathlon final, with Barking and Dagenham the eventual winners. The football coaching programme continued after the final event, with a magnificent total of 474 children having received coaching before the end of the school term. The 2009-10 season will again see football in the Panathlon programme. With more time to prepare, we envisage more boroughs being involved, with even more players receiving coaching, and the opportunity to compete in a friendly environment. As well as football for those with learning difficulties, we are adding Powerchair Football to the programme. As yet, the final format has yet to be formally agreed, but we will be aiming to make coaching available to every child within our boroughs, who wish to be involved. Matches will be played between boroughs, but at this stage in more of a festival environment than a competitive tournament. The hope is then to feed those players who are of a high standard, and who wish to take their football onto the next level, into a London wide team, which will compete at a National League. Next season will certainly be an exciting one!! Matt Edwards Panathlon Football Co-ordinator

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