Panathlon’s partnership with RBC BlueBay Asset Management began in early 2021 and has helped to expand our provision of sporting activity for children with disabilities and special needs across the country.

An initial RBC BlueBay donation of £25,000 helped kickstart Panathlon activity in locations including North Yorkshire/East Riding, Blackburn and Bolton, Coventry/Warwickshire and Basildon in Essex, plus national support in other programme areas. The company’s support has strengthened ever since.

RBC BlueBay staff members have been incredible in giving their time at Panathlon events as volunteer leaders, officiating the competitions and guiding the young competitors around the sporting activities.

For example, six BlueBay colleagues supported pupils with SEND at our Home Counties Special Schools competition at Stoke Mandeville – the birthplace of the Paralympics – in the 2023 summer term.

Harry Halewood, RBC BlueBay Business Development Associate (pictured above), said: “It’s easy for us to do things for charity by setting up a JustGiving page or throwing some coins in a bucket, but to come down and see it in action takes it to the next level. 

“I’d never done anything like this before and to see the smiles on the children’s faces was really inspiring.” 

Senior Portfolio Manager, Anthony Kettle, said: “This is the first Panathlon event I have been to. It was amazing to see the children all enjoying themselves. 

“These children may not have done a huge amount of sport before, which makes this opportunity all the more precious for them. They got so much out of it.” 

RBC BlueBay colleagues also volunteered at our Primary Panathlon competition at the Islington Tennis Centre in November 2022.

Chris Wiksyk, CEO – RBC Global Asset Management UK, said: “This is awesome! Spending time with energetic children with so much excitement and potential is such a pleasure.”

Not only have staff volunteered at our events, they have put herculean efforts into fundraising for us too – taking part in events such as the London Marathon, the Royal Parks Half, RideLondon and Nuclear Races over the last few years.

Panathlon CEO Ashley Iceton said: “We are delighted that BlueBay have supported us with funding for several years which has gone towards new specialised equipment, coaching provision and resource support.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, BlueBay’s support funded resources to allow schools to participate in the Virtual Programme which supported schools to host their own in-school Panathlon events during the pandemic.

Gillas Lane School in Sunderland, for example, received target mats to play Panathlon’s Precision Beanbag game.

Matt Richards of BlueBay Asset Management said: “Supporting our communities is at the heart of our charitable focus, and our staff voted to make Panathlon a charity partner because of the fantastic hands-on assistance the charity provides in improving the lives of children with disabilities and special needs throughout the UK.”