A record number of deaf students took part in Panathlon’s first boccia tournament of the school year, as 46 students from six schools battled it out in the 16-team knockout competition at Osterley Leisure Centre, West London.

Prior to the main event, Panathlon visited Oak Lodge deaf school in Wandsworth to deliver a Boccia Leaders Course to nine deaf students and three deaf teachers, providing the leaders with a sound understanding of the rules of boccia and some insight into the advanced tactics of the sport level.

“The students have enjoyed today and I think they’ve gained a lot from the training,” said Oak Lodge teacher Holly Black. “They don’t often officiate in external competitions, and so it will offer a fantastic practical experience to build on the leadership skills they already have.”

Having completed the leadership training, the students took on the tough task of officiating a total of 26 boccia matches over the space of two hours, featuring a record numbers of deaf students, thanks largely to the success of Panathlon’s deaf programme in the 2013/2014 academic year.

Hounslow’s Norwood Green School pinched the gold medal in the Championship Final, with Heathlands School getting reward for their long journey from St Albans in Hertfordshire as they picked up the Plate trophy.

“This has been an excellent opportunity for lots of deaf schools to interact and take part in inter-sport competition,” said Dani Sive, teacher at Frank Barnes School in Camden.

“It’s been extremely well organised and our younger students have loved the matches being led by deaf secondary school students. They have been great role models.”

Vhaire Stewart, teacher at Hounslow’s Norwood Green Junior School, agreed: “Another well organised event from Panathlon with more competitors than ever. It’s been a very positive sporting and social event for all of our students and we’ll certainly be back for future events.”

Thanks to our funders –

Ovingdean Hall FoundationCOL_LOGO_2COL_Blk_v2