The north Essex multi-sport Panathlon competition took place at Columbus School & College on Thursday (March 21) to find the first two teams that would qualify for the Essex-wide final in the summer.

Hosts Columbus School were taking on Shorefields School and the joint team from Southview and Doucecroft.

After a fiercely fought competition the overall result was up for grabs until the very last race in the athletics, with Columbus and the joint team from Southview and Doucecroft going neck to neck and both finishing on 50 points overall.

In the end due to having wins in three sports (boccia, athletics field and races) it was the joint team of Southview and Doucecroft who edged out Columbus School on ‘countback’ as they won ‘only’ two sports (table cricket and Polybat). Both teams now qualify for the Essex Final in the summer. Shorefields came in third with 44 points. The full results table can be seen here.

Carol Park from Southview School reflected: ”It’s fantastic to win such a tight competition and go through to the Essex Final. We’ll be practising hard over the coming months.”

Archie 16, a competitor from Southview (pictured right) added: “It’s amazing that we’ve won today! I’ve been competing in Panathlon for over hree years and it’s always a fantastic day, but because I’m very competitive it’s great to win overall! The volunteers today have been excellent too, they were great helping me with the ramp for kurling.”

Andrea Griffiths from Doucecroft School, who have been competing in Panathlon for many years, said: “It’s been great to work with Southview School and partner up with them to provide competitors with a range of abilities, for all the various sports. We’ll share the glory today and look forward to our partnership in the summer final.”

James aged 8 from Doucecroft School (pictured top left) echoed these sentiments, saying: “It’s nice working with another school, we have made new friends today.”

The sports officials today came from our friends and long term sponsors, the Woodland Group, whose head office is also in Chelmsford. Seven staff were trained in the Panathlon sports in the morning and then officiated the competitions during the day.

Katie Louise Thompson-Friend said: “I’ve previously fundraised for Panathlon when a team of us at Woodland ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon last year, so it’s great to see first hand where the monies raised go. I can’t believe how competitive the children are at these sports.”

Sue Tasker added: “I’ve been volunteering at Panathlon events for five years and have seen a range of activities around Essex and also at the Copper Box in the Olympic Park. I’ve seen so many children over the years benefit from their participation in Panathlon, and I’m proud our company the Woodland Group, have supported the Panathlon charity for many years. It’s great to put something back in to the local community.”

Congratulations to Columbus and the joint team from Southview and Doucecroft for qualifying for the Essex Final in the summer. We’ll know their opponents after the south semi-final taking place on May 1st.

Many thanks again to the Woodland group for their long term support of Panathlon.