Tim Richmond of Oak Lodge School has hailed the inspirational power of the Copper Box Arena after Wandsworth won bronze in the London Panathlon plate finals.

The teacher’s pupils were joined by fellow youngsters from Paddock, Linden Lodge and Penwortham schools at the mini-Paralympics multi-sport competition held last week.

They were among 175 disabled youngsters from 22 schools across the capital watched by triple-Paralympic champion Liz Johnsons, and they were presented with their trophy by Steve Brown, the skipper of the Team GB Paralympic basketball team.

Wandsworth finished behind winners Brent, and silver medallists Newham, but beat Kensington & Chelsea to claim their place on the podium.

Richmond said: “The venue is fantastic. It's really inspiring for the kids to be here and to have Liz Johnson here, opening the final like she did at the Paralympics, it's really inspiring.

“Panathlon enables more kids to participate in sport, but it also introduces real competition for them, in an amazing environment.

“It marries the two together and is a really good introduction to competition."

The Wandsworth team put in a strong performance throughout the day, winning silver medals in three of the day’s six events - boccia, table cricket and field athletics – before being pipped to second place overall by Newham in the very final event, the athletics relay races.

After the two teams finished level on points, the east London borough claimed silver courtesy of a better head-to-head record.

Nine-year-old Joshua Wilkins-Waldron, a pupil at Penwortham School, said: "It's brilliant. I've got three medals, so it's a really good result.

“It feels overwhelming to take part at a place like the Copper Box. I only began to play boccia last year, so it's a bit weird in a way, but it's really special.

“If there's any other children in a wheelchair out there, this is what you can do. Don't sit back at home thinking 'I can't do it' because you actually can."

Joshua won gold in the precision beanbag throw and silver in boccia and the wheelchair slalom, making his mother Sharon, who was there to support him, very proud.

She said: "Joshua is so competitive and so happy to be part of this.

“He has a goal in his head, he knows what he wants to do and I'll keep on supporting him.

“Panathlon is hugely important for children like Joshua. He's part of a mainstream school so, on sports day, out of seven events, he can only do one. This gives him the opportunity to do everything.”