Avondale Primary

Avondale Primary School in Lancashire had their first Panathlon experience this week and our ambassador, Paralympian Nathan Maguire, was on hand to welcome them aboard.

Twenty-seven pupils with SEND at the school in Darwen took part in the Panathlon multi-skills ‘game day’ competition. Participating in their class ‘bubbles’, they rotated round the four activity stations, giving maximum effort, having fun and helping each other to succeed.

Afterwards, pupils and staff were joined via Zoom by Nathan, the European champion and Paralympic wheelchair racer from Cheshire, in a special assembly which linked in with the school’s ‘humanities week’.

Nathan presented medals and certificates and took part in a Q&A session with pupils.

Matt Clegg, PE Lead for Avondale, said: “It has been fantastic for our school and pupils to take part in the Panathlon Games Day Challenge to showcase the range of talents that our pupils possess.

“The pupils involved were able to take part in a range of multi-sport activities that provided the opportunity to inspire them to instill and then maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Having the medals presented by Paralympian Nathan Maguire was an
unbelievable opportunity to raise aspirations and inspire our pupils to reach for the stars, achieve their dreams and realise that nothing is impossible. It was a fantastic experience and we look forward to further events in the future.”

Debbie Davies, Disability Development Officer for Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, ​commented: “It was a pleasure to be a part of Avondale’s Assembly and hear Nathan’s personal experience in the Power of Sport.  What an inspiration!

“The Valley Primary School, Bolton, are now looking forward to virtually welcoming Nathan to their Games Day in the New Year.”

Andrew Mercer, School Games Organiser and Sports Development Manager for the area, added: “Panathlon is a great way of encouraging more children to be physically active in a fun and interesting way.

“We encourage our schools to get involved in initiatives such as this and it is inspirational for young people to listen to a Paralympian such as Nathan and hear his story.

“We thank Nathan for taking the time to speak to the children at Avondale and we look forward to getting involved as a Borough with more Panathlon Challenges moving forward.”

Tony Waymouth, Chief Operating Officer , Panathlon Foundation, said the Virtual Programme has reached schools that were previously not involved in Panathlon and introduced more children to inclusive sport.
“Avondale being involved in Darwen shows no matter where you are or what tier of lockdown you are in, our virtual programme offers opportunities for children to feel engaged and connected to something.”

Panathlon wish to thank the Peter Cundhill Foundation and Bolton Wanderers Community Trust for their support in delivering our programmes in the north-west.