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Date
20/05/2008
Subject
Major investment by Football Foundation in disability sport and the Panathlon Challenge
Press release

The Football Foundation has today announced a major new investment of £242,000 in the Panathlon Challenge for the next three years.
 

The Panathlon Challenge, which is a multi sports charity, has delivered sporting opportunities to over 250,000 young people around the country for 12 years. It has focused in the last few years on providing young disabled people with specialised coaching, equipment and multi-sports events similar to mini-Paralympic Games.


The investment by the Football Foundation will ensure that the event is open to all disabled young people in London, and will involve youngsters with severe learning difficulties, wheelchair users and visually impaired and blind young people to become involved in football. The investment will also pay for expert coaching, equipment provision and competitions in football and other sports for disabled young people in London.


John Hymers, the Panathlon Foundation Chair welcomed this news and said “This is great news for disabled youngsters in London.  We welcome our partnership with the Football Foundation which will undoubtedly mean more sports opportunities for many young people who otherwise would struggle to access them.”


Roisin Wood, Senior Development Manager - Equalities from the Football Foundation said, “The Panathlon Challenge is an exciting project that provides our capital’s disabled young people with great sporting opportunities. I am delighted that Football Foundation investment is going to help extend it further and enable even more of London’s youngsters to enjoy a range of sports and stay healthy.”


Dame Tanni Grey -Thompson, one of the UK’s most distinguished athletes of all time, winner of 11 Paralympic gold medals and holder of 30 world records, and also a strong supporter of the Panathlon Challenge says “Panathlon is striving to give everyone a chance to participate, regardless of ability and that is something I applaud.  Good luck to everyone taking part in the Panathlon Challenge this year.”


ENDS

Notes to editor
Panathlon Challenge delivers coaching and multi-sport competitions across London and is currently working in 21 London Boroughs. This new investment will see that number rise to 24 in 2009, 28 in 2010 and all 32 in 2011. The new sport of Football will be added in to Panathlon Challenge from September 2008 and many hundreds of hours of coaching will take place. 
 
Panathlon Challenge is a registered charity delivering competitive opportunities for young people with disabilities in various cities, including London, Liverpool and Bristol. 
 
Panathlon is previous holder of the Sportsmatch Award for Best Disability Scheme and is the holder of 3 other previous prestigious Sportsmatch Annual Awards and was awarded Community Organisation of the Year 2006, by the London Development Agency at the London Sport Awards. 
 
The London Final of this years Panathlon Challenge takes place on June 26th at Westway Sports Centre and involves the qualifying boroughs of Bromley, Newham, Wandsworth, Brent, Hillingdon and Waltham Forest. 
 
Further details about Panathlon Challenge can be obtained from www.panathlon.com 
 
Enquiries to: 
 
Ashley Iceton, Panathlon Challenge, 01277 373580 or Ashley@panathlon.com 
 
Rory Carroll, Football Foundation, 0845 345 4555 ext 4280