Sheppey & Sittingbourne won the Kent Panathlon Final today by the narrowest of possible margins.
After all the results were in, both the Canterbury team and the Sheppey & Sittingbourne team were on 50 points overall, but by the fact that Sheppey & Sittingbourne had won 3 individual sports, they triumphed on count-back from the Canterbury team, who won two individual sports.
Jerome Xavier, head of P.E. from Meadowfield school representing Sheppey & Sittingbourne was delighted with the win. “Panathlon is a great competition and fantastic for our students. We come to every Panathlon competition and it is the highlight of the P.E. year.
“We have been runners up twice in recent years so to win for the first time ever is a massive boost for the students. We can’t wait to make the next step up to represent Kent at the regional finals against other winning counties next term.”
Kim Webb, a T.A. from Meadowfield echoed these comments and said, “Panathlon is a truly wonderful event to participate in, everyone feels included.”
The 78 competitors in today’s final had come from three qualifying competitions earlier in the year , making our 4 teams in the final, which was part of the wider Kent School Games Finals day. The teams were Canterbury (St. Aslems) Gravesham (Ifield and Helen Alison Schools), Shepway (The Beacon) and Sheppey & Sittingbourne (Meadowfield)
Meadowfield star Dennis Kingston (pictured right) who has been participating successfully for 6 years, was today taking part for the last time as a competitor as he is leaving school this summer to go to college. However his Panathlon journey doesn’t stop there, as he is coming back as a Young Leader next year as he has become a bit of a expert in the Panathlon rules and regulations!
Dennis said, “It’s been fantastic competing in Panathlon over the years and I’m excited to start my journey as a leader and official next year. I won a silver medal today to add to my collection.”
A gallery of images from the day is available here.
Millie Knight, (pictured left) the triple medal winning Paralympian from the last winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang was present at her ‘local’ Panathlon and inspired the young competitors by showing everyone her 3 Paralympic medals. She said, ” It was fantastic to see everyone having fun and competing so enthusiastically. I have also learned some new sports today which looked fantastic! Well done everyone!”
Canterbury started strong winning the Boccia competition and coming runners up in Kurling, field athletics and Polybat. Edging ahead at the end of the morning sports however was the Sheppey & Sittingbourne team having won Table Cricket, Polybat and field athletics.
The Gravesham team did well to win Kurling and in their first ever visit to the finals and Shepway did amazingly well being runners up in Boccia.
The final athletics races were a bit of a nail-biter and the overall places were only split by the count-back method between the winners Sheppey & Sittingbourne and the unlucky to lose out Canterbury team. For a full set of results see here.
Our Young Leaders today were from the Malling School who have been tremendous supporters of Panathlon for the last 9 years since we moved in to Kent and well over 100 of the students over the years have been trained by us and have had multiple practical experiences officiating at Panathlon competitions.
Eliza Wopling, a year 12 student at the Malling School who is studying for her BTEC in Sport said, “It is fantastic working beside the competitors and it is very rewarding seeing the joy and excitement on their faces. I consider myself very lucky to have been given the amazing opportunity to be a Panathlon Young Leader.”
Claire Holmes from Meadowfield School, summed up the fantastic atmosphere that prevailed all day when she said, “It is great to compete against other similar schools, and no matter what ability, everyone is welcome.”
Thanks to our funders in Kent who have provided support for a number of years, JCB Auto Group and Kent Sport.