Staff from RBC BlueBay Asset Management lent a helping hand at our Primary Panathlon competition at the Islington Tennis Centre on Wednesday (November 9).

Sixty-one pupils with disabilities and special needs from eight primary schools took part in the competition, with RBC BlueBay Asset Management colleagues officiating and guiding pupils around the activities. One pupil described it as, “the best school day ever!”

>>> Click here for a full gallery of pics from the competition <<<

Chris Wiksyk, CEO – RBC Global Asset Management UK, said: “This is awesome! Spending time with energetic children with so much excitement and potential is such a pleasure.

“I am really happy to have had time to spend with colleagues and other incredible people such as those at Panathlon and Islington schools.”

RBC BlueBay Asset Management are in their third year of support of Panathlon and have committed to further sponsorship through to 2023.

Volunteers from our supporters RBC BlueBay Asset Management

Hannah Knowles, Marketing Assistant at RBC BlueBay Asset Management, added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Panathlon. I’d recommend it to anyone, especially those looking for a high energy morning!”

RBC BlueBay Asset Management’s Hannah Knowles awards medals

The event was organised in partnership with PE adviser David Bateman and Michael Peet from the London Borough of Islington.

“Panathlon have been going from strength to strength in Islington,” David said. “This multisport event is perfect for demonstrating to teachers and leaders how powerful adapted activities are in bringing all abilities together to compete in a fun and challenging environment.”

After a very tight competition, Sacred Heart RC Primary School, from just around the corner on Caledonian Road, came out overall winners. Prior Weston came second with William Tyndale earning bronze medals.

Gold medal winners from Sacred Heart RC Primary School

Jessica Woolner, Assistant Headteacher at Sacred Heart, reflected: “Our pupils with SEN are the ones who ordinarily may not feel included in everyday mainstream school life. The feeling of inclusivity on a day like today is very special.

“To see the children competing and so eager to win is fantastic. Additionally, they are developing life skills that they would not ordinarily be able to do during a normal school day.”

One Year 6 student, Joe, from Sacred Heart said: “I am so happy that we won today. I can’t wait to tell all my friends in my class and my mummy and daddy about it. I have had a really nice time – and have a gold medal as well!!! I would love to do this again. Best day at school, ever!”

Young Leaders from City of London Academy Highgate Hill School

The event’s Young Leaders (pictured above) are all in Year 10 at City of London Academy Highgate Hill School. Their PE teacher Joe Howard commented: “Doing an event such as this is invaluable for building confidence to engage with children and adults outside of their normal circles.

“It is a great way to develop skills that they would ordinarily not be able to do. To have this kind of experience is invaluable.”

On Young Leader, Sabrina, said: “I hope that being a leader will one day help me in my job, whatever that will be. It will also help me with my PE GCSE by seeing how children from different backgrounds engage in sport.”

Another very special volunteer at the event was Lily Mills, Panathlon Ambassador and two-time tennis gold medallist at the Special Olympics. She said: “I have had an amazing time today helping children enjoy the different sports. Islington Tennis Centre is where I have been playing since the age of three, so it is especially nice to be invited here to award medals to the children.”