Teenager celebrates seven years representing borough in Panathlon competition
PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 June 2019
Andrew Fosker / Seconds Left
A teenager who has helped Barking and Dagenham win three consecutive Panathlon titles has said goodbye to the competition - but plans to return as a leader and inspire other participants.
Georgina Hart has participated in the multisport competition for pupils with disabilities and special needs for the past seven years.
The 18-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, and her team-mates narrowly missed out on their fourth London title in as many years, coming just two points behind winners Enfield.
And to mark Georgie's final appearance at the tournament, her mum Susan baked three 'thank you' cakes for her team and coaches to enjoy.
Georgie said: "I'm really going to miss competing and I just wish our team well for the future.
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"I feel sad that I can't be part of it any more but my ambition now is to qualify as a young leader here next year, helping the competitors to take part and officiating."
During the seven years since Georgie began competing in Panathlon tournaments, she has grown into a confident, outgoing campaigner and volunteer.
The New City College drama student was featured on Sport Relief last year for starting her own anti-bullying campaign, and works for the Progress Project, helping younger disabled people to participate in sport.
She is also a keen club thrower and part of the Barking and Dagenham Youth Forum - and was even able to meet the Duke of Sussex during his visit to Future Youth Zone in Dagenham earlier this year, presenting him with a silver birth certificate holder shortly before his son Archie was born.
The London-wide Panathlon final, which took place at the Copper Box Arena on Wednesday, was the culmination of a year's worth of competition that involved more than 100 schools and colleges from all 32 boroughs.
While disappointed to lose their title, Barking and Dagenham team manager Luke Hammitt, a PE teacher at Trinity School, said: "We've perhaps been a bit lucky to win for the last three years.
"You don't learn everything through winning. Sometimes in life you have to lose and that's when you learn more for next time."