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 been to a few events in the past and she is usually the only student in a powerchair, so to come here today where she can compete against other students on a fair playing field is fantastic.
This is the first time the school has competed externally, what an experience for them to come here with children from other parts of the region.
This has been brilliant experience for the children. We have really enjoyed competing in the Primary Panathlon over the past two years, and now that there is another opportunity for them to compete it’s all extremely exciting.
The most important thing here is that the children get to participate in a competitive event which has rules that you have to play within, but offers the opportunity to be successful no matter how good you are at it.
“It’s good for Jamie to have a competition where he’s able to shine, like the wheelchair slalom. He’s a competitive boy. He may be limited by what he can do physically but when he comes here, he certainly comes to win, not just to take part.
We’ve never represented the county in anything before, so that’s great. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students.
This is one of the best experiences of my life. My favourite is the table top cricket because you get to really smash the ball. Panathlon has lifted my confidence and skills.
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.
Today gives children confidence and it’s wonderful for their self-esteem. This is their first time in a swimming gala and it gives them a brand new experience in an amazing place like this.
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 gave them an opportunity to excel in a world that they otherwise find difficult. Giving them confidence and pleasure. I thought it was brilliant that parents were allowed to come and watch. It gave the children a real sense of pride – especially when they won. It also gave an opportunity for the children and parents to really share something at home, hopefully supporting great and positive communication.
Look around at all the smiles here. These children don’t normally get chance to take part in any sports outside of school, but this is just amazing.
Panathlon is great for Scott and has made him more confident. Years ago I had to push him to get him involved. Now he loves to participate and he will make the first move
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.
We are so excited to have finally won a Panathlon event after so many years of trying! It’s great for this group to be able to take part. Now they have won, it only increases the importance of this new event for them.
I love competing against other schools as it’s great to meet new people. We’re over the moon and amazed to be going to the Olympic Park.
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.
What an amazing day and a real joy to be part of it. I can’t believe it the kids can’t believe it. I thought the atmosphere in the hall was super and team spirit was in abundance.
Today allowed our children to shine in sport for the first time. Thank you for an amazing day. Long may we be involved
It’s the best event we’ve been to so far. It’s a brilliant atmosphere and a really good competition. If you’d seen where these kids have come from, it’s incredible, especially one of our boys, Alley. This time last year he was terrified of water and now he’s competed here. I’m really proud of him. The children are so proud of themselves, when they go back to school, there is such a big fuss made of them and their confidence is boosted so much by it.
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.
Panathlon for us is about getting the children out in the community, engaging with other people from different schools, competing, working on leadership and teamwork, but mostly just having fun.
I’ve really enjoyed myself, taking part in all the different activities. It feels brilliant to be representing my school. When I get back, I’ll show the teachers and everyone in school my medals. They’ll be proud of me and all my family will be proud.
I’m so proud of her achievements. The fact she’s alive is the biggest bonus we could have. To see her come back, compete and take part is amazing.