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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 is proving so popular that even able-bodied children are wanting to get involved now!

Lorraine Veck, Disability Sports Co-ordinator at Coteford Junior School, Hillingdon

“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.”

Sherwood Park Deputy Headteacher Sue Fergusson

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.

Mercedes Jacdonmi, aged 12, Newham

“That was amazing! Out of 11 other schools, in fact out of the whole country, we are the champions! I am pretty impressed with myself. I can’t put it into words!”

Freddie Southern, 13, Moor House

“I’m going to show my medal to my family and tell them how amazing the trip was – and how amazing I am too! It took us a long time to get here, but it’s really been worth it!”

Reece Pidd, 12

Just having the opportunity to compete against students from different parts of the country is amazing. Panathlon can’t support us enough.

Jeremy Lonsdale, Greenacre’s PE Lead

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.

Caroline Rose, mother of Ella, a Year Four student from Barnet

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.

Aaron Bint, PE teacher at Queensmill School, Hammersmith & Fulham

“We have been talking about this event for months. We held the regional qualifier at our school so that has just built up the excitement. These days, it’s all about inclusion and a lot of mainstream schools are focused on competition, which leads to some less-able children actually being excluded. This [Panathlon] allows us to compete and it’s fantastic for the students and the school that they have reached this national level.”

Matthew Crowhurst, Moor House Head of PE

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.

Julie, Teacher Hempsted Primary School

This is the only chance I have to play team sport at school and outside of school, so it is really important to me and my other teammates that we can do this through Panathlon.

Courtney Burgess, 15, Beacon Hill Academy

“It means a lot because, these children wouldn’t normally partake in competitions and represent their school. It just gives them so much confidence. There are some kids here who I’ve never heard say a word at school, but they haven’t stopped talking since we got here!”

Sue Chambers, St Helens School, Brentwood

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 is unique in bringing everyone together; people with learning difficulties or physical disabilities – they all get to take part, which is great. It’s a level playing field and everyone has a chance of competing.

Dan O’Brien, teacher at Woodfield School, Brent

Panathlon makes it easier to set up targets and motivate my kids. During lessons, if you keep reminding them of Panathlon, we improve their behaviour and everything else improves from there.

Maria Papazoglou, PE coordinator at Whitefield Schools, Waltham Forest

We’ve never represented the county in anything before, so that’s great. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students.

Brianne Hogg, PE co-ordinator at Riverwalk School, Bury

“For them to be competing in the same venue where world-class athletes have performed just swells their pride. Their excitement levels have been through the roof!”

Teacher of the Deaf, Jo Hughes.

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.

Marianne Haylett, teacher for the deaf at Kingsbury Green School, Brent

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.

Joy Pollard, teacher at Hawthorn Primary School, Birmingham

Panathlon is very important to us at Swiss Cottage School. They feel like stars when they are taking part and the school is really proud of them. It gives them a lot of confidence and they start to believe in themselves. I think it’s a great experience for them.

Anna Kwasniak, teacher at Swiss Cottage School, Camden

Panathlon is about everyone being equal and able to play. So many people get the chance to play. The experience for our kids is really positive. It’s just brilliant.

Lauren Hastings, PE teacher at Marjorie McClure School, Bromley

Panathlon is great because it allows more children the chance to join in and compete. It’s an event that doesn’t focus on their disabilities, but on what they are able to do. It levels the playing field and the children are all enjoying themselves today. It’s fantastic.

Dawn Catley, education engagement officer at Active Essex

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