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