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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

Last year it was just Ryan who came along. Ryan doesn’t play in any school teams, but with the way Panathlon is structured, with fun, different activities, he really enjoyed it. When he got back to school with a medal, he was just hero worshipped. It was just brilliant for his self-esteem.

Jo Pople, teaching assistant at Watermoor Primary School, Cirencester, Glos

It’s brilliant. It’s a fantastic event and an ideal opportunity for our students. There are so many learning opportunities today: just to travel here, getting changed in a different environment, social skills, meeting different people, listening to instructions that they have to follow. They’ve done really well.

Kuben Reddy, teacher at Doucecroft School, Colchester

This is my last Panathlon for the school, it has been a brilliant experience, coming to Panathlon events has changed me as a person, I’ve met new people, been to new places, had life experiences out of school, thank you Panathlon.

Scott Jefferies, Student, New Oscott School

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!

Thomas, 14, Brooksbank 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.

Kate Hoey, MP and Commissioner for Sport for the Mayor of London

I am hoping to compete in the Tokyo Paralympics in 400m swimming and the Panathlon is a great competition.

Charlie Hyde, aged 13, Romford, Essex

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.

Richard Brown, teacher at Cricket Green School, Merton

Panathlon builds up these students’ confidence. They can see that they can achieve well, they meet other people and they make friends, so it’s very good for their confidence and independence.

Robert Zawislak, Head of PE at West Lea School, Enfield

“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.”

Mollie, Goldbeaters School

“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 don’t do any sport other than Panathlon. It is my world!  I’m leaving school to go to college so this is my last competition and I’m really sad, but I have had a fantastic time over the last few years, especially the years that we won!

Charlotte Whale, aged 19, Ashford, Kent

Never have we been to an event before that was aimed perfectly at the ability of our children.

Penny Warner, Head of PE at Amwell View School, Hertfordshire

I went back to my school and showed everyone my medal, and all the people in school were cheering. It made me feel impressive!

Ryan Gardner, aged 11, Cirencester, Glos

When I put on the Panathlon shirt for my team, it feels awesome.

William Ely, aged 19, Bromley

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.

Paul Searle, teacher at Brimble Hill School, Swindon, Wilts.

Panathlon is pretty much the only competition these kids have. A lot of them don’t have the option for sports outside of school. Having this big tournament is really the only time they can access all of these sports in one place. It’s very rare and it’s very good.

Brandon Mullins, Head of PE at Beacon Hill Academy, Essex

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

I’ve never really done this sort of thing before. It’s my first time in a swimming competition and it’s been pretty amazing.

Max Ross, aged 16, Bury St Edmunds

“It means everything for them to be here, It gives them so much more confidence just to be part of a team. They see other children representing the school and our children are so excited to get that chance now too. They often see the other children go off in their football kits, so even the fact they’re wearing the same shirts here and representing the school is marvellous. They definitely wouldn’t get this anywhere else. They’ll be wearing their t-shirts and medals tomorrow in school all day long.”

Wendy Gibbons, Teaching Assistant – Ardleigh Green School

“I’m going to go home and wave this medal in my brother’s face, because he’s never won a medal! I really like the water – it makes me feel happy. It’s amazing to be here because if you think about it, Tom Daley has been in this very same pool, so it’s extra special.”

Bailey Ison, Egerton Rothesay School

We love Panathlon. There’s always something for everyone. That’s what’s fantastic about it. It’s a major part of our PE year.

Simon Hughes, senior teaching assistant at The Bridge School, Islington

Since we got involved in Panathlon, the kids all really want to do PE now. Their self confidence has just come on amazing. The more events we come to, the more the kids are getting used to it and the more they are enjoying it.

Andrea Griffiths, sports co-ordinator at Doucecroft School, Colchester

Panathlon is mega for our school. It’s very important that everyone gets the chance to play sport. It’s all about equal opportunities isn’t it? It’s great for the kids to show what they are able to do.

Cally Knight, special needs support assistant at Hounslow Heath School, Hounslow