Success at Panathlon showpiece final


Last week 200 disabled children took part in Panathlon’s London Multisport Final at the Copper Box Arena. Barking & Dagenham took home the trophy after a year-long competition encompassing 1,500 competitors from all 32 London Boroughs.

After handing out the prizes, Baroness Grey-Thompson, winner of 11 Paralympic gold medals, commented: “Panathlon is amazing because it brings sport and physical activity to a range of people who might not be so easily able to access it otherwise.

“Physical activity is good for physical health and wellbeing, it makes you more independent and confident, and that’s why it’s really important to help change disabled people’s lives.

“The competitive element is really important because life is about winning, losing, finding solutions, being a bit disappointed, finding your way through that and working a bit harder the next time. Competition has got to be done in the right way. Being here and seeing the teamwork, camaraderie, support, the volunteers; it all comes together perfectly.”

Georgina Hart of the Barking & Dagenham team commented: “I’m incredibly proud. No matter how many times I come here I’m always a little bit nervous but to win gold again is a dream come true.”

Georgina’s mum, Susan, agreed: “Panathlon has opened so many doors for her. She was accepted here and that has helped her feel accepted everywhere.”

Paralympian and Liz Johnson said: “There are so many initiatives out there that introduce disabled young people to sport and are all about participation and inclusion, but I’ve learned so much as a para-athlete from winning and losing. That is no different from these Panathletes here today.”

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