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.
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 is proving so popular that even able-bodied children are wanting to get involved now!
“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.”
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.
“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!”
“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!”
Just having the opportunity to compete against students from different parts of the country is amazing. Panathlon can’t support us enough.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
“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!”
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 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.
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.
We’ve never represented the county in anything before, so that’s great. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students.
“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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I had one student who struggled with confidence, but today he has interacted with his peers and hasn’t stopped smiling