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Most of our students don’t get chance to take part in activities like this outside of school, so this sort of thing is invaluable.

Sally Proctor, teacher at Heritage House, Chesham

Panathlon is important to us. We run our own festivals and various SEN clubs, but this gives us a competitive outlet; something to work towards. It’s great for the kids.

Steve Peaty, Newham team manager

It’s been an amazing day and it’s an honour to be here in the Olympic swimming stadium. It’s my first time here and it’s been one of my dreams to come here. Not every kid gets the chance to do this.

Alex Smyth, aged 14, Colchester

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.

Kate Hoey, MP and Commissioner for Sport for the Mayor of London

I’ve really enjoyed Panathlon. It’s really helped me to be more confident and to get more involved in sport. A few years ago I couldn’t have imagined myself here.

Toyin Fabusiwa, aged 16, Croydon

It is so good for the children to experience a 25m pool. It is great for the kids to get out of their comfort zone and see what can be done.

Vicki Jones, Teacher, Lansbury Bridge

Panathlon is the best competition we enter because it’s so inclusive. I can bring children to this that I wouldn’t even consider taking to anything else, because everyone can compete here. It’s really important that all kids get the chance to take part in sport.

Kirsty Wiseman, teacher at Parkwood Hall, Kensington & Chelsea

Our kids just love the competitive spirit of Panathlon. There’s great sportsmanship here and they take part in every event with lots of enthusiasm. It’s wonderful.

Warren Marriott, upper school PE coordinator at Perseid School, Merton

Panathlon gives us all a break from our normal day-to-day lives and it’s really competitive, which a lot of disabled people don’t get. It’s really important that everyone gets the chance to play sport. It helps people let off steam. When they get frustrated or wound-up, it means they can relax. It’s really good.

Sally McNeil, aged 16, Thurrock

I really enjoy Panathlon. It’s a big responsibility representing the school and Birmingham, but I’ve enjoyed it. We practise the sports back at school, so that when it comes to the Panathlon, we’re quite good at them.

Harris Abdullah, aged 13, Birmingham

Panathlon is brilliant for these kids, who just don’t get the opportunity to do this sort of thing outside of school. The sports are setup so well for children with a range of disabilities. It caters for everyone. It’s just brilliant.

Susie King, speech and language assistant at Stony Dean School, Amersham

One of the things about working with kids with special needs is that many of them have exactly the same interests as non-disabled kids. They want to resent their school, they want to represent their borough. This gives them an opportunity to do that, which they wouldn’t normally get.

Alan Walsh, the Learning Trust – Team Hackney

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.

Richard Brown, teacher at Cricket Green School, Merton

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.

Christie Moloney, Sports Development Officer at Ealing Council

It’s really important that all kids, no matter what their ability level, have the opportunity to compete against other children of similar ability on a fair level. Every child has a right to take part in sporting activity and enter competitions.

Carina Taylor, Head of PE at Chadsgrove School, Bromsgrove

I had one student who struggled with confidence, but today he has interacted with his peers and hasn’t stopped smiling

Shirley Bond, PE coordinator at Stratton School, Gloucestershire

The event was brilliant! The organisation, the staff and supporting students were really helpful and friendly. The venue was ideal and the activities were spot on for the kids in my group. The children had a great time and came back to school beaming. This was their first chance to take part in a sports competition and they loved the medals, certificates and t-shirts. Their confidence levels rose throughout the day – both physically and emotionally.

Beki Stoiber, teacher at Park Hill

Panathlon provides an opportunity for students who otherwise wouldn’t shine in PE. The opportunity to compete at this level wouldn’t be there otherwise. It’s a brilliant opportunity and it’s why our schools are willing to give so much time to Panathlon, because where else are you going to get this quality of event?

Lesley Montague, teacher at Jo Richardson School, Barking & Dagenham

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.

Kamil Hajdrych, PE coordinator at Stormont House School, Hackney

Today was my first ever football match and it’s been a wonderful opportunity. There were a few strong tackles this morning but I can cope with it – I’m tough! I’m going to put my medal on my bedroom wall when I get home.

Yoel Tesgay, aged 12, Lambeth

This place is really fantastic. I swam so fast I was like a machine! When I finish I just feel so confident, happy and proud.

Freddy Leech, aged 14, Enfield

I feel like a real sportsman doing wheelchair slalom. Panathlon is great because it’s only disabled people that can take part and I got near my personal best today.

Reece, Barking & Dagenham

Panathlon helps with the kids’ independence and helps them socially, meeting other children from other schools and just giving them a bit of experience of life outside of school. Plus life is one big competition.

Judy Wells, teaching assistant, Fairfax School.

In terms of offer for disabled children, Panathlon is the strongest example of how to run an event that is exciting, enjoyable and challenging but brings wide benefits as well as the activity. It’s a model that’s needed throughout the country, there’s no doubt.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive of the English Federation of Disability Sport