In a pulsating finale to the 2004 Panathlon Challenge school sports competition, Hackney Free School showed their pedigree to fine effect by winning the event and retaining their National title.

Over 600 pupils from the 5 participating schools took part, creating a tremendous atmosphere in the National Sports Centre, Crystal Palace as the finals reached a crescendo in the afternoon with the deciding event, the indoor athletics.

HRH, The Earl of Wessex, was in attendance as guest of honour. As well as meeting the team captains from each school, he helped to hand out the trophies and medals at the end of the day. The winners amassed a total of 104 points, 24 more than their nearest rivals, St. Bede’s School in Bristol.

Commenting on the victory, Adrian Mullis, Deputy Head of Hackney Free said “This was a tough contest, but our pupils came out on top because they love Panathlon so much. The opportunities it presents to involve so many pupils in active sport are just fantastic. It is an integral part of our school inclusion programme.”

Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London 2012 said “The Panathlon Challenge is a fantastic event which gives young people an opportunity to get involved in sport and physical activity. This is vital for the health of the nation, and I hope that some of the young people competing will go on to be Olympic champions in London in 2012.”

The Leeds team won the Fair Play trophy which was much deserved.

Notes to Journalists
The results this year were:-
Hackney Free School 104 points
St. Bede’s Catholic School, Bristol 80
Morpeth School, Tower Hamlets 76
Alsop Technology College, Liverpool 56
Corpus Christi Catholic College, Leeds 44