WNST is proud to be supporting the extension of the Primary Panathlon programme across London, and today presented the organisation with a cheque for £48,000 in the shadow of the stadium’s famous arch.
The funding will be used over the next two years to enable more primary-aged disabled children to participate in sport. It builds on a successful pilot of the Primary Panathlon programme, made possible by an initial WNST grant of £20,000, provided in 2013.
WNST Trustee Dinah Cox OBE, said: “Panathlon is absolutely wonderful and exactly the type of project that we want to fund.
“So many children with disabilities don’t get the opportunity to play sport because people say they can’t. A project like this shows that they can and don’t they do it brilliantly.
“The Primary Panathlon works at an early age, setting out a foundation and creating the pathway for disabled kids to be involved in sport as they grow older, which is so valuable.”
The WNST’s new investment will help Panathlon to provide sporting opportunities to over 2,000 severely disabled primary-aged children across London over the next two years.
The funding will enable Panathlon to provide swimming events to children from 42 special schools, create two more regional Primary Panathlon competitions in London and link Primary Panathlon to the full Panathlon Challenge through activity sessions in 28 London boroughs by 2015/16.
It will also help Panathlon to introduce new participants to disability sport through new impairment-specific opportunities at primary age and will also expand the number of people involved in Panathlon’s Young Leaders programme.
After a successful first year for the programme that involved 1,744 pupils from 174 schools across London and included a Primary Panathlon for deaf students, WNST’s continued support will help Panathlon create a sporting pathway for over 3,700 disabled young people by the end of 2015/16.
Tony Waymouth, Chief Operating Officer of Panathlon, said: “We thank Wembley National Stadium Trust for their support in the development of the Primary Panathlon programme, which caters for the needs of the primary aged group, something that we hadn’t done before their funding.
“The programme has expanded remarkably and the knock-on effect of the Trust’s London funding, which demonstrates its success, is the demand that the programme has created in other parts of the country.”
Panathlon has named the first winners of the Wembley National Stadium Trust Primary-Aged Achievers Award, which recognises the achievements of some of Panathlon’s youngest competitors. The joint winners, Kavindu Ravasinghe and Robert Walter (pictured) collected their awards from the WNST’s Stewart Goshawk and Dinah Cox at Wembley yesterday.