Panathlon Award 2016

WNST is pleased to be supporting Panathlon for three years as part of our London-wide disability sports grants programme.  The funding is helping Panthlon offer competitive multi-sports activities to hundreds of primary school-age children across the capital.

Recently, Panathlon announced that Sophie Wood, of William Bellamy School in Dagenham, has won this year’s Wembley National Stadium Trust Outstanding Achievement Award.   Sophie was chosen by WNST trustee Dinah Cox and Chief Executive Stewart Goshawk, from a short-list drawn up by the Panathlon team.

The 11-year old collected the award at the Barking & Dagenham schools event on January 27. Her Mum and Dad and other family members were there to see Sophie receive the award from Stewart.

Sophie was persuaded to try sport through Panathlon two-and-a-half years ago and became an instant inspiration to other pupils who have a fear of trying new activities. Sophie said: “I couldn’t believe when I heard I had won. I like to help other people, so that when they are older they can look back and see what they have done. It is great because they can try different sports and everyone can take part without feeling under pressure. “People of different abilities can have fun and come together. Everyone wins a medal.”

William Bellamy School’s PE and Sports Lead, Donna Rose, nominated Sophie for the award. “I just had to get some recognition for Sophie and what she had achieved for herself and other children,” she said. “She’s amazing and such an inspiration to others. “Sophie was never really interested in sport and found it difficult to access, but when we heard about the Primary Panathlon event, it sounded like the perfect way of allowing her to play sport in a team, and most importantly, where she could be involved in everything. She is now first on the list for the boccia club at school and, furthermore, volunteers as a young leader at a lunchtime sports club for the younger children.”

WNST CEO, Stewart Goshawk, said: “Panathlon gave us a shortlist of three, who were all worthy winners. “What was heart-warming about Sophie was overcoming her fears about sport two years ago and encouraging other pupils to take part. “Sport has the power to bring them out of themselves and be the children they can be and then flourish.”

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