The Jack Petchey Foundation, Panathlon’s longest-serving supporter, has announced record new investment into the charity.
The Foundation, which has supported Panathlon’s work in providing sporting opportunities to disabled young people in London and Essex for 12 years, has handed over a cheque for £99,958, meaning that its total investment in the charity has now exceeded £600,000.
The cheque was presented at Panathlon’s recent East London final to Panathlon patron and Paralympian Danny Crates by Schenell Stephens, Grants Officer for the Jack Petchey Foundation.
Danny said: “Thanks to this support from the Jack Petchey Foundation we can get many more young people involved in Panathlon.
“Even though Panathlon was around long before the London Olympics, it has really grown since 2012 thanks to the support of partners like the Jack Petchey Foundation. I really feel people’s eyes have been opened with regards to the power of disability sport and what it can do for young people.”
Schenell said: “Panathlon provides a fantastic opportunity for young people with disabilities to engage in sport and with each other. It’s great for us at the Foundation to come along to these events and see the impact our funding is directly having on the lives of so many schoolchildren thanks to Panathlon.”
The cheque will enable Panathlon to support 2,000 children in specially-adapted sports across 50 competitions in London and Essex. It will also fund 45 courses to train 450 Young Leaders who officiate in Panathlon competitions.
Schenell added: “We are also very proud that this funding will help to engage Young Leaders to deliver the programmes.”
Panathlon provides sporting opportunities for over 7,500 disabled young people each year across London and 27 counties nationwide. Over 450 schools took part in Panathlon’s 115 ‘mini Paralympic’ competitions in 2014/15, with more than 50,000 active hours of sport provided to disabled children.
Despite a recent survey finding that increased media coverage of Paralympic sport since London 2012 has not translated into greater access to sport and exercise for many disabled people, Panathlon continues to grow and provide sporting opportunities to more young people across the country – from five counties nationwide in 2011 to a projected 30 counties by the end of 2016, along with all 32 London boroughs.