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Panathlon And London Stansted Airport Count Down One Year Until The London 2012 Paralympic Games

20 Sep 2011

The Panathlon Challenge charity will celebrate one year to go to the Paralympic Games with local Essex gold medal winning Paralympians and school children at London Stansted Airport on Friday 23rd September.

Dan Bentley and Danny Crates, both Paralympic Gold Medalists from Essex, will play local disabled children from Southview School in the Paralympic Sport of Boccia at the airport terminal.

The Panathlon Challenge is now in its twelfth successful year of delivering sporting opportunities and “mini-paralympic” type competitions for young disabled people. This year over 2,500 participants have benefitted from Panathlon coaching, equipment provision and competitions.

Danny Crates is the sporting patron of the Panathlon charity and said: “Panathlon Challenge is a fantastic competition for young disabled people, and I’ve witnessed the enthusiasm and skills of the competitors first-hand. It is going to be a great twelve months of inspiring sporting action with the London 2012 Games coming. It’s great to see local disabled children competing in their own type of “Paralympic Games” through the Panathlon Challenge.”

Nick Barton, London Stansted’s managing director, added: “London Stansted is delighted to be able support the Panathlon Challenge and showcase the sport of Boccia at the airport. The event will give our passengers and staff the perfect opportunity to interact with the athletes and children from Southview School, learn about the sport and see for themselves why this is such a wonderful event.”

Also attending the event is Essex and Hertfordshire Euro MP Richard Howitt who is President of the European Parliament All Party Disability Group.

He said: “As a disability campaigner I am passionate about giving disabled youngsters a sporting chance. I am delighted to support this event and talk to local disabled children who despite the hurdles they face are ready to dive in and have a go at a new sport.”

Panathlon has already been granted the Inspire Mark, the official badge of the London 2012 Inspire Programme for its ground breaking work in developing football opportunities for visually impaired young people and Powerchair users, with the Wheelchair Football Association.

Panathlon aims to raise £400,000 in the year ahead to fund its work, providing severely disabled young people with adapted sports equipment and 50 sports events around the country.