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.
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.
I really enjoy it. Win or lose, it’s all about taking part. I feel very proud to be representing my school.
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.
It feels amazing to be representing the borough. It’s an amazing experience to even be here. We’re so lucky to get this opportunity I think. I really enjoy being part of Panathlon and I think I’d like to be a young Panathlon coach in the future.
What a fantastic event. The atmosphere throughout was one of encouragement and support. All the young people swam incredibly well and loved competing in this type of environment.
There are children here that wouldn’t necessarily go to these events normally, so it’s a really good experience for them. It gives them the confidence to try something they wouldn’t normally do and in a different environment, so it’s great for them.
Panathlon gives young people a sense of pride, self-esteem and achievement. You can take that into all aspects of life.
I went back to my school and showed everyone my medal, and all the people in school were cheering. It made me feel impressive!
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.
A lot of kids don’t get the opportunity to represent their county even in a mainstream school, let alone a special school. For some of these kids, this could be the peak of where they get to in sport, so what a great event. They are overwhelmed and think it’s absolutely incredible. That’s what it’s all about.
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 is great. We bought 10 children who didn’t normally take part in sporting events and they came away saying it was the best thing they had done.
Watching Tom Daley before was just awesome. I love Panathlon because when I get frustrated or angry, it makes me feel free just to run or swim and forget everything else.
It’s nice to meet new people from other schools. I enjoy school, but this is a good opportunity to come out and take part. It feels good to be representing the school.
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.
Panathlon is an incomparable opportunity for all to do a physical activity and have a social experience.
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.
We’re completely sold on Panathlon. It’s spread like a very positive wave and ripple through the whole school and the whole curriculum.
I’m really glad I’ve met somebody with the same condition as me. We’ve both got spina bifida, so I can relate to him and I’m really glad that we had a chat. He’s a big inspiration, so I think I might take up racing!
It’s a good experience. People can’t always get out and do active things but this helps bring people together and make friends.
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.
The biggest thing our youngsters get out of it is a lot of confidence and the experience of achieving success as a team. We really welcome the competitive element of this event. Whether they are winning or losing, it is a great experience and teaches them what they need to practise, and the importance of it
A lot of these guys have quite challenging behaviour in lessons, but having the Panathlon Football Finals to look forward to helps them enormously. Being here is amazing for them and they absolutely love it. A lot of them find it difficult to maintain relationships with their peers, but it seems like when they’re out on the pitch they have a shared goal and you don’t see the same sort of outbursts.
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.