A chance to compete at an Olympic and Paralympic venue is the prize on offer for disabled youngsters from across the capital as the 2015 London Panathlon semi-finals kick off this week.
Teams reprsenting all 32 London boroughs will compete for a place at the Copper Box Arena, with the winners of four semi-finals in both the champions and plate competitions booking a place at the Panathlon finals day at the Olympic Park in June.
The action kicks off on Tuesday 3 March at the south London final, which sees last year’s champions Bromley take on Croydon, Greenwich and Lambeth in the champions tournament.
Alongside them at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre will be teams from Bexley, Kensington & Chelsea, Lewisham and Southwark, who will compete in the south London plate final.
Following hot on their heels will be reigning London champions Harrow (pictured above), Enfield, Hammersmith & Fulham and Haringey, who will battle it out in the north London final at Islington’s Sobell Leisure Centre on Thursday 5 March.
The formidable Harrow team – who won the 2014 London final with a dominating performance – will be the team to beat as aim for a third London title in a row, having won their first ever London Panathlon title in 2013.
In the north London plate Final, teams from Barnet, Brent, Camden and Westminster will be competing for a single place in the Copper Box final – the second to be held at the iconic venue.
The Copper Box Arena played host to handball and modern pentathlon’s fencing competitions during the London 2012 Olympic Games and goalball during the Paralympics.
Now transformed into a venue with flexible seating capacity and facilities for a wide range of indoor sports, the Copper Box will be playing host to its second Panathlon finals day.
Among those teams aiming to be there will be Hillingdon, Merton, Richmond and Sutton, who compete in the west London final later this month. Alongside them at St Mary’s University on Monday 16 March will be teams from Ealing, Hounslow, Kingston and Wandsworth, who will compete in the plate final.
The last of the four London semi-finals tales place the following day (Tuesday 17 March) at the University of East London’s SportsDock.
Last year’s London plate champions Redbridge will be hoping to go one better and book a place in this year’s champions final. Their opponents in the east London final will be Hackney, Islington and last season’s champions final runners-up Barking & Dagenham.
The final place in this year’s Copper Box Arena finals will be filled by either Havering, Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest, who will compete in the east London plate final.
With four spectacular days of sporting action on the way, make sure you stay tuned right here, or via our Twitter and Facebook pages, for all the results and reaction from this year’s London semi-finals.