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.
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 gives disabled children something which they can achieve for themselves. They all want to do Panathlon.
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.
As well as the multi-sport, we do the Primary Panathlon and our able-bodied children have been trained by Panathlon to run those events as Leaders, so we’ve made it a whole school thing. It’s very much part of the school.
Panathlon gives young people a sense of pride, self-esteem and achievement. You can take that into all aspects of life.
Panathlon is proving so popular that even able-bodied children are wanting to get involved now!
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.
I like being able to help young children with disabilities be able to do sports. You get to use your own initiative to change and adapt the different sports and to work in a team and it helps your communication skills working with people that you haven’t met before.
Panathlon means everything to the kids. There’s nothing else for them where they can compete at sport, so it means the world to them. If it wasn’t for Panathlon they wouldn’t be competing.
You just can’t buy this: the competition, the interaction, the fulfilment the children get from it and, of course, their smiles!
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.
My favourite things about today were the races, the medals and the freedom. I felt fresh, healthy and free in the pool. The ball race was my favourite.
It’s nice for our kids to interact, play sports and socialise with other deaf children. They often play sport with mainstream kids, but Panathlon gives them an opportunity to have their own day, which helps with their identity as a deaf child.
It has been amazing. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Coming here to this huge place makes you feel nervous at first, but once you do it and get to the finish line, it makes you feel so proud of what you’ve done.
Panathlon works really well, particularly for our students with severe learning difficulties. It also helps us go back to school with some fresh ideas for the students.
We’ve started local events to get as many children competing as possible. We then use those as a selection process for Panathlon, so we’re giving children a stepping stone to representing the borough. It gives them something to strive to and gives an end product to their competitions locally.
On behalf of our children at Girlington Primary School for a fantastic Panathlon experience. The activities were well thought through, taking into consideration a variety of disabilities. Our children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and memories were made. The whole event ran like clockwork which added to the enjoyment. We are already looking forward to next year.
We’ve got lots of smiling children. It’s fantastic because it links with a lot of the class curriculum at the moment which is around the Olympics. It gives them a great sense of wider achievement. It’s been a really positive experience for them.
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.
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.
It’s so important for the children, because they might not get the chance to compete anywhere else.
Another amazing time at the Panathlon Games. Sam loves the teamwork with children from other schools in events such as this. Socially, it gives Sam the confidence to compete and interact with others with a range of abilities. He looks forward to these events for weeks beforehand and is always keen to know when the next one will be.
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.
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.