I think it is a fantastic charity. The more people, of all abilities, that you can get involved in sport and health and fitness in a fun and engaging way can only be a good thing. And to have this event at the London Aquatics Centre is just another example of the legacy of London 2012
There was nothing like this available to me when I was a kid. I wish I’d had the opportunity that these children have got. What Panathlon are doing is brilliant and I’m really happy to be here and try to inspire these kids to keep doing it.
It’s fantastic what Panathlon does for disabled children. When I was first disabled and in a mainstream school, PE was really limited and the teachers didn’t really know what to do with me. If Panathlon had been available to me then, it would have helped me a lot for sure.
The atmosphere that Panathlon creates is awesome. These people here are playing to win and it’s nice to see that attitude amongst them. I think it’s important that everybody has the chance to compete and take part at whatever level they want to.
Panathlon is always fun, but it’s not just about playing games. It’s about competing for your school against another school. The kids feel proud about that and want to do well. They love it.
I’ve been coming to Panathlon events for years and what never ceases to amaze me is how much enjoyment the athletes get from the competition and how competitive they are. But what is truly amazing is how the event has now grown. With over 200 events a year now, Panathlon really has cemented itself in the sporting calendar.
The Mayor and I are delighted to be supporting the Panathlon Final, the culmination of a year-long programme of fantastic sporting activity. The Panathlon Foundation do incredible work that benefits thousands of young disabled Londoners and their appearance at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a fitting finale to the year.
I am inspired by the work of Panathlon and it gives me great joy to see the happiness on the young people’s faces.
Panathlon provides an opportunity for disabled children to mix with others and experience competition; which is so important. Every person in the team matters and has a contribution to make to the final points score. Participation in sport sets you up for life, and every child should be encouraged to get involved.
It is fantastic to see Panathlon going from strength to strength every year, helping to inspire young people to get involved in sport. Grassroots competitions such as this are crucial if we are to achieve our goal of building a lasting sporting legacy in the capital from the 2012 Games. My Sports Legacy Fund was established to support exactly this kind of event.
I am proud that partners such as Panathlon are delivering on our vision of the Olympic & Paralympic Games boosting sports participation.
The Panathlon Challenge is unique and I hope that many more young people have the opportunity to take part in the future.
The Panathlon Challenge is a great way of encouraging young people into sport. I hope many more young people have the opportunity to compete in the future.
If there’s anything that demonstrates an Olympic and Paralympic legacy, it’s this. Some of the legacy has got a bit lost along the way, but not here. That’s why I love it so much. No-one else is doing anything like this. There is no other organisation that puts on something this inclusive and this competitive. It’s completely unique and I think they deserve as much funding as possible.
We’ve got children who are in powerchairs, who don’t have access to many other events, but here they’ve got a chance to compete on an even level with other children from the area.
Panathlon is good for us because it caters for those kids who don’t have much opportunity. It means every child gets to take part in a competition outside of school. It’s a privilege to be here and the kids love it.
I knew we would win again. I just knew it. This is fantastic. I am very excited and happy. I just love the table cricket, which we won a gold in too.
For our kids Panathlon is the absolute highlight of the year. When we get back to school all of the kids will be there to greet them like returning heroes, like Olympians getting off the plane. It’s brilliant.
Panathlon is something I look forward to every year. It’s given these kids so much encouragement. For a lot of the kids it’s the only competition they are doing.
Panathlon really helps form the backbone of the PE activities that we do. We start in primary school so that kids get a taste, then it’s something that they aspire to take part in when they move up the school.
It’s been amazing, it’s brought them really together as a team, they’ve enjoyed working together, it’s a good lesson on sportsmanship and learning that it’s all about taking part. It means a lot for the school to be able to take part in a much bigger event, than just what the school can provide. It’s very special.
Win, lose or draw, it’s about giving kids opportunities to compete on an even scale against students of similar abilities. Everyone gets the chance to win a medal and you can just see their little eyes light up. It’s phenomenal really
Lillie had no confidence in the water, but today she amazed us, the activities made it so inclusive and the all the children surprised us what they could do, today gave children at Norfolk Primary a chance to shine.
Just having the opportunity to compete against students from different parts of the country is amazing. Panathlon can’t support us enough.
We have a very small unit at school, so for the children to mix and meet others with hearing impairments was the first opportunity that they have had. They had a wonderful day.
It’s an honour to be here. It means everything to me to take part in an event like this. I told my whole family about this and they really hoped I’d perform well. I feel very proud [to be representing Newham] and I won’t let anybody down.
“We’ve got more less-able pupils here now than in previous years. They simply don’t have the skills or athleticism to take part in tennis or football, but they can all access kurling or boccia – that’s the beauty of it. It enables all of our pupils to participate. Panathlon has enabled us to provide a much broader curriculum and range of sports, especially for more physically disabled children in wheelchairs. It has enriched our school provision greatly.”
It’s particularly inspiring to see how far Panathlon has come as an organisation and how many lives have been touched. There is no better illustration of the power of sport than a Panathlon event.
Our children aren’t involved in deaf activities other than through Panathlon. This competition means that all of our children can join in with something and everyone’s had a chance.
It has been amazing. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Coming here to this huge place makes you feel nervous at first, but once you do it and get to the finish line, it makes you feel so proud of what you’ve done.
“We’ve done three Panathlon events now and these guys have been such a close-knit team throughout the rounds. They had never even spoken to each other before, but this has brought them all together and they’re never apart now. Panathlon is such a blessing, it really is, It has been a real journey for all of them. I would feel terrible if these kids couldn’t take advantage of this opportunity. A lot of mainstream school, yes, it’s inclusive, but it’s very hard for them to actually get involved. This is totally different and it’s why they love it so much.”
Today allowed our children to shine in sport for the first time. Thank you for an amazing day. Long may we be involved
Panathlon offers the most even playing field. It’s the one competition that caters for students of lower ability. It’s imperative that they get the opportunity to compete for their school and their borough. I love the ethos of the event and the competition.
Since we got involved in Panathlon, the kids all really want to do PE now. Their self confidence has just come on amazing. The more events we come to, the more the kids are getting used to it and the more they are enjoying it.
We’re a mainstream school so these kids would normally get very little opportunity to play for their school teams, so Panathlon is great for their self-esteem and confidence.
Panathlon means everything to the kids. There’s nothing else for them where they can compete at sport, so it means the world to them. If it wasn’t for Panathlon they wouldn’t be competing.
Panathlon gives the children more freedom. At school they are restricted to their schedules, but when they come here there’s more going on. They can go around and observe other things as well as participating themselves.
I’m so excited to be going to the Copper Box. It’s a big honour. When I get older I want to be in the Paralympics and it feels like I’m one step closer to that dream.