Panathlon is thrilled to announce a three-year partnership extension with the St. James’s Place Foundation.
The Foundation has supported Panathlon since 2012 and will continue to do so until 2017, donating a further £255,000 to Panathlon to provide sporting opportunities to disabled young people in this time.
Mark Longbottom, Head of the St. James’s Place Foundation, said: “We’re really pleased at the Foundation to extend our partnership with Panathlon. To sign up to another three years and back up what we have already achieved as a partnership is very exciting.
“Panathlon uses sport to help change the lives of so many children. It’s very exciting to play a part in that and to help Panathlon expand its reach across the country.”
St. James’s Place Foundation is the grant-making charitable arm of the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group. The Foundation has raised and distributed in excess of £40 million to good causes since its establishment in 1992.
Their main theme, ‘Cherishing the Children’, is aimed at supporting disadvantaged and disabled young people under the age of 25, which makes it a great fit for Panathlon.
“Panathlon events have children that are taking part and achieving in sport for the very first time.” said Mark Longbottom, speaking at the South Cotswolds Primary Panathlon, where 94 disabled children from nine Gloucestershire primary schools competed at Cirencester Kingshill School.
“That’s quite infectious and quite exciting. They might not get into sports teams or they just get pushed to the back of the line when it comes to taking part in something, but they all got a chance today to achieve something within the activity and that was brilliant.”
Four employees of the St. James’s Place Foundation, including Mark himself, got a close-up view of the Primary Panathlon in action, having volunteered as officials for the event.
“It’s been an absolutely fantastic day,” added Mark. “It’s great to see children taking part, feeding off their team mates, finding themselves in situations when they are under a little bit of pressure and responding brilliantly, with little achievements throughout the day. Their faces light up and it looks to do wonders for their self-esteem. That’s the key really.
“The Primary Panathlon is pitched just right for the age and ability of these children. They all arrive as a team together, each of them contributes something towards achieving their goal and then they are all rewarded at the end with a medal. You can tell it really works and it makes a difference to the kids.”
Liz Johnson, Panathlon’s Paralympic ambassador said: “It’s fantastic that the St. James’s Place Foundation has further invested in Panathlon, which will create more sporting opportunities over the next three years for thousands of young disabled people.”