Congratulations to Team Liverpool – winners of the Merseyside Primary Panathlon at the Greenbank Sports Academy.

The event was the first Panathlon competition to be held in the city this year, with 65 children competing from eight schools across Merseyside – some of whom had not previously entered children into sports events.

A strong Liverpool team – made up a pupils from Springwood Heath and Princes School – saw off stiff competition from neighbouring boroughs, including Halton, Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral. A full breakdown of results is available on our results page.

The victory was Liverpool’s first in the event, having come close in previous years, so congratulations to them and to all the children who took part on a day enjoyed by all teams.

Jane Johnston, Teaching Assistant at Brookfields School in Widnes, said: “The children were really excited about coming today and it’s absolutely brilliant that all of the activities cater for the needs of children with different abilities.

panathlon4“It’s excellent that participation is recognised with a certificate and t-shirt for everyone – it’s not just about winning, it’s about taking part.”

The event, which brought together the Sports Development Department, Education Department, sports clubs and Panathlon, along with volunteers from the Greenbank Sports Academy and Liverpool John Moores University, was another great success and thoroughly enjoyed by the children who took part.

Gareth Burke, Halton Disability Sports co-ordinator, believes it is important for events like the Primary Panathlon to provide inclusive sports for everyone.

panathlon1“An event like this gives children who aren’t necessarily used to being picked first for a team the opportunity to represent their school and their borough, which is a great way to build confidence and self-esteem,” he said.

On Wednesday 18th March, the second ‘half’ of the Merseyside Panathlon took place with 51 Secondary school aged children competing from 5 Merseyside boroughs.

Liverpool put in another strong performance, winning table cricket, athletics and the slalom competition, but they were just edged out in to 2nd place by Wirral, who won table tennis, football and came second in table cricket and slalom. Here are the full breakdown of results.

Lynne Brown, Teaching Assistant at Sandfield Park School said: “Our pupils really enjoy coming to this event to take part in a whole range of sports which they are familiar with from school. Panathlon encourages the children to mix with others and get recognition for their achievements but most of all it is good fun!”

Ian Magill, Teaching Assistant at Woodchurch High School added: “It’s fantastic for the children to have an opportunity to represent their county and get a taste of competitive sport – win or lose, it’s a great achievement.”

The day was made extra special through the involvement of 3 times Paralympian swimmer Liz Johnson, who presented the medals on behalf of Panathlon Challenge. As the Panathlon Ambassador, Liz helped to run the event and even measured children’s javelin throws.

winnersLiz, pictured left with the winning Wirral team, commented: “I have gained so much from sport including many fabulous experiences. Panathlon provides an opportunity for disabled children to mix with others and experience competition; which is so important.”

“With the way that the event is structured, every person in the team matters and has a contribution to make to the final points score. Participation in sport sets you up for life, and every child should be encouraged to get involved.”

Congratulations to everyone who took part and thanks to our partners at Greenbank Academy for making it happen.