Budding young Paralympians make it to final of East London competition

The winning Panathlon Barking and Dagenham team

The winning Panathlon Barking and Dagenham team - Credit: Archant

Talented young athletes have stormed through to the final of a sporting competition for budding Paralympians.

The team from Barking and Dagenham, assembled from five schools across the borough, saw off stiff competition from nearby rivals Havering and Hackney to make it to the East London Final of the London Panathlon Challenge.

Pupils from Trinity, Eastbrook, Barking Abbey, All Saints and Robert Clack schools took on 102 other young disabled competitors from 14 schools at the event at Robert Clack School on Monday, March 4.

Team co-ordinator for Barking and Dagenham, Yvonne O’Keefe, said: “It gives many of our students their first chance to win in a sporting event, and gives them the drive to want more success in a competition.

“It is also incredibly important to our young leaders as it gives them a fantastic opportunity to work with children with special needs, who they wouldn’t usually come in to contact with.”

Barking and dagenham will face the London Boroughs of Newham, Greenwhich and Bexley at the final in East Ham on March 26. The borough won the London-wide final of the competition three years ago.

Teams play sports such as boccia — in which Team GB won gold at Beijing 2008 — kurling, polybat, athletics and football.