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 never represented the county in anything before, so that’s great. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students.
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.
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.
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.
Panathlon is an incomparable opportunity for all to do a physical activity and have a social experience.
The structure was brilliant. The format was for the kids. Usually we are tagged on to some event. Thus we don’t compete that often. This was the opposite. It was for the children and the children responded brilliantly having an event for them.
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 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.
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.
Panathlon has been the main driving force behind sport in school. There was never any place for us to go and play sport of a competitive nature until Panathlon came to Essex, so we owe pretty much everything that we do to them.
“I’ve loved it times a trillion! Before it starts you’re nervous and excited and you want to win, but when you’re here you forget all that and just enjoy it. Being a team, you feel like you’re part of something and you feel that no matter whether you win or lose, you have someone to back you up.”
I enjoy coming out to Panathlon. I like the atmosphere of it all. It’s very loud – you can’t hear yourself think! There’s a lot of responsibility to be representing Worcestershire, but it feels good.
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.
This was our first time at Panathlon and it has made our kids realise how much fun they could have and what they could learn. It has been a real eye opener for them!
I really enjoy it. Win or lose, it’s all about taking part. I feel very proud to be representing my school.
Panathlon is brilliant. I’ve been coming here since the age of nine and enjoy it every year. I take part in the wheelchair slalom and the relay races. I love racing against others.
“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.”
Panathlon is something I look forward to every year. It’s given these kids so much encouragement. For a lot of the kids it’s the only competition they are doing.
We really value the Panathlon Challenge in the borough. Students from seven secondary schools make up the team. It is one of the most important events that we take part in every year. It’s a fantastic experience for all the children and year-on-year we strive to get better.
“Just to be in this venue is such an experience for our children. I think we were definitely the loudest team! They’re great role models for the rest of the pupils back at school due to their hard work and determination. Panathlon events develop teamwork, resilience and shows them that you get out what you put in.”
I am hoping to compete in the Tokyo Paralympics in 400m swimming and the Panathlon is a great competition.
At the end of a Panathlon event I feel like it’s a big achievement for me, because I can’t really do many sports. This is one I can do, and I love it!
Panathlon is an extremely important competition. We have brought children along today who really worry about new things. Coming here gives them an opportunity to overcome their anxieties and take part in a wide range of fun activities whilst representing their borough.
I had two boys who said they’d thought of every way of getting out of doing this, but they volunteered for every race. One swum 10 metres unaided! He didn’t – and we didn’t – know he could do it.