A team of school children with a variety of special educational needs have represented Merton at a children’s version of the Paralympic Games.

The team, made up of children with moderate and severe disabilities from Cricket Green School in Mitcham and Perseid School in Morden, finished fourth in the west London finals of the Panathlon Challenge – a competition held at St Mary’s University in Twickenham on Monday, March 21.

Michael Guppy, Merton team co-ordinator, and PE teacher at Cricket Green School said: “This is an amazing event – it doesn’t really matter if our guys win or lose, it’s just so important that they are participating.

“Our children are so proud they are being acknowledged.

“The primary focus here is for severely and moderately disabled children. Having that accessibility for kids of all abilities is so important.”

The competition was watched by wheelchair basketball player and Panathlon ambassador Helen Turner, who has represented Great Britain in the last three Paralympic Games, as well as the World and European Championships, and has won five bronze medals since her first appearance in 2003.

Jasmine Malone, 12, who attends the Cricket Green School, said: “Panathlon is awesome – it’s really fun.

“We have played girls’ football through Panathlon before, and today has been great too.”

The Panathlon Foundation began in 1999, and since then has invested £6 million in competitions, sports equipment and coaching for young disabled people across London and the rest of the country.