Sporting charity nets £50,000 airport donation

Members from the Stansted Community Fund together with special guests Priti Patel MP (back row, four

Members from the Stansted Community Fund together with special guests Priti Patel MP (back row, fourth from the left) and Paralympians Anne Wafula Strike, Louise Sugden and Richard Chiassaro, present a cheque to Panathlon Challenge at Witham’s Southview School. - Credit: Archant

DISABLED youngsters across Essex will now have more opportunities to get involved in sport after a charity was named the latest winner of Stansted Airport’s £50,000 Community Challenge.

Members from the Stansted Community Fund together with special guests Priti Patel MP and Paralympians Anne Wafula Strike, Louise Sugden and Richard Chiassaro, presented a cheque to Panathlon Challenge at Witham’s Southview School on Friday (January 18).

The Essex-based charity works with schools across the county and organises sporting competitions, offers free training courses, supplies specialist equipment and provides qualified coaching and expertise for disabled youngsters.

Speaking at the event, Ms Patel said: “I welcome the commitment made by the Stansted Community Fund to support Panathon Challenge in Essex. This charity does tremendous work supporting disabled children through giving them new skills and opportunities to fulfil their potential.

“Following the success of the Paralympic Games this generous contribution will go a long way to helping to get more disabled children enjoying the benefits of playing sports.”


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Panathlon Challenge founder, Ashley Iceton, was delighted with the donation.

“This is fantastic news for Panathlon to have the support of Stansted Airport in 2013, which follows on from their support of our charity last year.

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“The £50,000 donation will ensure Panathlon thrives in Essex and will go to support hundreds of disabled children through specialist equipment supply and creating Paralympic type sports events throughout the county,” he said.

The Stansted Community Fund’s judging panel, which included representatives from the community, studied a wide range of bids before choosing the Panathlon as the winner. The successful project needed to demonstrate a link to education, the environment or employment and bring a lasting benefit for many people in the communities surrounding the airport.

Bob Wainwright, chairman of the Community Fund, said Panathlon was chosen after a unanimous vote from the panel members.

“It is fantastic to be able to support a local charity like Panathlon through the Stansted Community Fund and we were delighted that Priti Patel MP was able to present the cheque,” he said.

“This summer’s Paralympic Games put disabled sport in the spotlight as never before and this donation will no doubt help Panathlon inspire more young people to participate in sport. The panel was unanimous in its delight in awarding the £50,000 to Panathlon Challenge.”

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