Liz Johnson, triple Paralympic medallist in the pool, joined in the fun today swimming with 38 Panathlon competitors in the East London Swim competition..

Liz was fresh off the plane from Rio where she had been testing out facilities ahead of the next Paralympics. Liz helped demonstrate the races in Clissold Pool in Hackney to assist the 6 East London teams competing in Panathlon. The pool is less than 4 miles away from the Aquatic Centre, the scene of Liz’s last Parlaympic medal in September 2012.

Teams from Hackney, Islington, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge and Barking & Dagenham took part in the new format, jointly pioneered between Panathlon and the ASA, which helps to get those young disabled people who normally don’t swim, in to the pool and racing in appropriate events. This includes individual races and relays from 10m width, 25m length in various strokes and team relay races.

Liz said,” Its fantastic that Panathlon now includes swimming now, which again demonstrates how far Panathlon has come in a few years. I’ve seen it grow bigger across the country and add new elements like the Primary Panathlon and new sports, such as my own, swimming. I’ve had a great time in the water today and maybe one day, who knows, a new Paralympic swimmer may come from competitions such as this?

After a great days racing the overall results combined revealed that Redbridge won, with Hackney in 2nd and Barking and Dagenham in 3rd. Well done to everyone that took part. Have a look at more of the photo’s by clicking the photo below.

A big thanks also to our Leaders from Mill Hill School, who were trained and will qualify as ASA Young Aquatic Officials with all the practical experience they are receiving from officiating at our competitions, the next one up being the West London competition next week. The Mill Hill Leaders were great both in and out of the water and we couldn’t have done it without you!

There are various swimming competitions that Panathlon is planning to deliver this year in London, Suffolk, Essex, Birmingham and Merseyside.  (For more information on Panathlon events around the country, click fixtures)