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Testimonials

It’s great to be back at Panathlon which is one of my highlights of the year. I’m delighted that we’ll be competing once again at the Olympic Park in June.

Georgina Hart

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

We’ve never represented the county in anything before, so that’s great. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students.

Brianne Hogg, PE co-ordinator at Riverwalk School, Bury

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.

Lee Puckrin, teacher at Priory Woods School, Middlesbrough

What an amazing day and a real joy to be part of it. I can’t believe it the kids can’t believe it. I thought the atmosphere in the hall was super and team spirit was in abundance.

Samuel Wade, teacher at Knowleswood, Bradford

Achieving at Panathlon helps the children right across the curriculum. It gives them that sense that they can achieve something on their own merit, which gives them the confidence to try in other areas of school.

Beverly Shillingford, inclusion team leader at Langdon Academy, Newham

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

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

There isn’t sport for all of our children at this level. We have a few students who do competitive sports with the mainstream children but, without Panathlon, there wouldn’t be a chance for the other kids to take part in competition.

Susanna Sutton, teacher at Mabel Prichard School, Oxford

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

Panathlon really helps form the backbone of the PE activities that we do. We start in primary school so that kids get a taste, then it’s something that they aspire to take part in when they move up the school.

Fiona Bell, PE teacher at St Giles School, Croydon

There aren’t usually many opportunities for these children, particularly those in wheelchairs, but Panathlon provides quite a big range of sports for them to do. It also helps develop life skills, their behaviour and social skills.

Robert Zawistak, teacher at West Lea School, Enfield

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.

Marianne Sharpe, teacher at Samuel Rhodes School, Islington

Today was fun; I loved everything I did today. It was a great also meeting Paralympian gold medalist, Liz Johnson.

Corey Black, Blackpool

PE is so important in our school and the benefits of events like Panathlon extend well beyond the day itself. No matter what the disability, no matter how severe or mild, they are all here competing and as one. It’s incredible.

Troy Gering, PE coordinator at Phoenix School, Tower Hamlets

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

This is the first time I’ve played football here at Wembley. It’s inspiring. It’s good to take part, as tournaments like this aren’t normally for disabled kids.

Cameron O’Connor, aged 12, Southwark

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.

Riley Kane, aged 11, Lowestoft, Suffolk

I had one student who struggled with confidence, but today he has interacted with his peers and hasn’t stopped smiling

Shirley Bond, PE coordinator at Stratton School, Gloucestershire

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

William Ely, aged 19, Bromley

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

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.

Reece, Barking & Dagenham

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

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.

Judy Wells, teaching assistant, Fairfax School, Birmingham