On the day the Olympic Games came to London, Hackney Free Sports College were crowned National Panathlon champions 2005, thus retaining the title they have held for the past 3 years.

It was very close going in to the athletics, but it was at this point where the athletic excellence of the Hackney team came to the fore. With supreme grace and skill they powered through to win by six points from their nearest rivals, Abbs Cross School, Havering on 84 points, who were competing in the final for the first time. St. Bede’s, Bristol, also came close, finishing third, on 72 points, followed by Alsop, Liverpool (58) and Corpus Christi, Leeds on 52.

Ashley Iceton, the event’s Administrator said “A double victory for Sport yesterday, at both ends of the spectrum. The biggest sporting event on earth is coming to London and at the heart of that area is Hackney, and their young residents showed what the Olympics and Panathlon are all about – high levels of sporting performance competed for with the best levels of Fair Play possible. Hackney Free should be proud on both fronts.”

A special award went to Corpus Christi High School, Leeds, who were adjudged to have been the most sporting team on the day, and carried off the prestigious Panathlon Fair Play Award. The whole Panathlon Challenge sporting ethos is based on fair play.

A new award was set up this year in honour of Mark Barker, the founder of the Panathlon Challenge, who sadly passed away in October 2004. In his honour, the Mark Barker Fair Play Award has been established. It will be awarded to the school or pupil who in the opinion of the judges has done the most during the whole year to live up to the Panathlon ideals of fair play. We are very pleased to announce the inaugural winner is Stephen McMahon of Hackney Free Sports College, whose activities in both organising and participating in the school cycling team have seen him recognised by his fellow pupils and teachers as a true Fair Play Panathlete.