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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.

Marianne Haylett, teacher for the deaf at Kingsbury Green School, Brent

I really enjoy it. Win or lose, it’s all about taking part. I feel very proud to be representing my school.

Ali Hussain, aged 15, Hammersmith & Fulham

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.

Maria Papazoglou, PE coordinator at Whitefield Schools, Waltham Forest

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.

Toyin Fabusiwa, aged 15, Croydon

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.

Stuart Johnson, The Park School of Blackpool, Team Manager

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.

Josie Harrison, Head of PE at Powell’s School. Cirencester, Glos

Panathlon gives young people a sense of pride, self-esteem and achievement. You can take that into all aspects of life.

Elaine Burgess, school games organiser for Barking & Dagenham

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

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.

Dan O’Brien, teacher at Woodfield School, Brent

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.

Kevin Hughes, Assistant Head of PE at Arbour Vale School, Slough

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.

Annie Sturgeon, teacher at Highworth Combined School, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

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.

Shirley Bond, PE coordinator at Stratton School, Gloucestershire

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.

Melissa Fletcher, aged 16, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

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.

Callum MacDonald, aged 14, Croydon

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

Panathlon is an incomparable opportunity for all to do a physical activity and have a social experience.

Janice Hingley, teacher at Corby Business Academy

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.

Yoel Tesgay, aged 12, Lambeth

We’re completely sold on Panathlon. It’s spread like a very positive wave and ripple through the whole school and the whole curriculum.

Guy Wilkins, teacher at Marjorie McClure Special School, Chilslehurst, Bromley

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!

Zahra Naqvi, aged 13, Milton Keynes, Bucks, on meeting Panathlon patron Richard Chiassaro

It’s a good experience. People can’t always get out and do active things but this helps bring people together and make friends.

Mia Paton, aged 15, Islington

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.

Susie King, speech and language assistant at Stony Dean School, Amersham

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

Brandon Mullin, head of PE at Beacon Hill Academy

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.

Richard Brown, Teacher at Cricket Green

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.

Warren Marriott, upper school PE coordinator at Perseid School, Merton