Colleagues from Panathlon’s new sponsors Aspen donned the famous pink T-shirts alongside Young Leaders from St. Charles Sixth Form College at a Primary Panathlon in London.
Eight Aspen employees helped to guide 50 children with special needs and disabilities through a range of sporting activities as six schools from Kensington and Chelsea competed for gold medals at Westway Sports Centre.
Aspen have pledged £20,000 per year for the next three years which will help us introduce a minimum of 1,000 new beneficiaries to Panathlon’s unique competitive sport opportunities.
One of Aspen’s volunteers on the day, Emma Harris, was left in no doubt about Panathlon’s impact on children with SEND, having witnessed it first hand.
“It was plain to see how much this day meant to the children, with almost every child’s hand raised when we asked, ‘Who wants to go first?’ as well as their excitement when they got a high score and beaming smiles when being awarded a medal.
“Panathlon made sure the day was special for the children, with a great range of activities and certificates and medals for each of the children which will be real keep-sakes for each participant.
“Seeing the day in action has really reiterated why we’re so proud to support such an amazing charity as Panathlon.”
Emma also had praise for the St.Charles Sixth Form College students she worked alongside in the Panathlon Leader role.
“They were such natural leaders with well-placed confidence who were absolutely brilliant at communicating with the children. They adapted their explanations depending on the group in front of us, and brought lots of enthusiasm! I’m sure they’ll have great careers ahead of them.”
The competition was won by Ark Brunel Primary Academy from North Kensington, whose two teams finished first and second.
Barbara Martinez from seventh-placed Fox Primary School said: “It was a lovely event! The children had so much fun, as well as us adults seeing them putting in practice and developing all their gross motor skills while playing with friends.
“The level of difficulty was spot-on. We loved that they were offered challenges through the different stations which got them really engaged.
“It was also great for the kids to share time with other schools. The number of children was just perfect so it didn’t feel crowded or too loud which could trigger certain children’s behaviours.“
Anton Fernandez, Kensington and Chelsea School Games Organiser, said: “The event was incredible and the children had a blast. We have to do this again!”
Panathlon CEO Ashley Iceton commented: “It was great to have our partners from Aspen along to see Panathlon with their own eyes. We look forward to welcoming them back again soon to see the benefits our many other programmes have to offer.”