The Essex based charity, which came top in a staff vote, works with local schools across the South East and organises sporting competitions for disabled youngsters. Holder of the coveted Inspire Mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme*, the organisation also offers free training courses, supplies specialist equipment and provides qualified coaching and expertise.
Danny Crates, Paralympic Gold Medallist from Essex and sporting patron of the Panathlon charity, said:
"It is fantastic news that Stansted staff have chosen the Panathlon Challenge as their first ever charity partner. Panathlon provides Paralympic type sports competitions for young disabled people in Essex and London.
"As a local charity based at Stansted, this partnership with the airport is truly exciting and I hope will help us provide more sports equipment, coaching and sports competitions for local disabled children in 2012. We will now work on a programme of activities at the airport and look forward to a great year working together."
The partnership will include a series of fundraising events in the terminal including a special mini Paralympic Games, and airport staff will be encouraged to get involved in volunteering projects.
Marcella M'Rabety, Stansted Airport's Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, added:
"With the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games fast approaching, what better way to maximise the sporting legacy of the Games than getting our local young people involved in sport. We short-listed two sporting charities that work with both able bodied and disabled young people and put the vote to our staff.
"The Panathlon Challenge topped the ballot and we’re delighted to welcome them as our first ever charity partner. This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us at Stansted to make a real difference and to showcase the dedication, support and commitment of the airport and its staff."
*Panathlon was granted the Inspire Mark for its ground breaking work in developing football opportunities for visually impaired young people and Powerchair users, with the Wheelchair Football Association. The London 2012 Inspire programme is awarded for innovative and exceptional projects inspired by the Games.