On Wednesday 27th November we hosted our North Suffolk Boccia  competition which included the Taverners competition and a Pan Disability competition. Panathlon worked alongside sports leaders from The Ashley School to run and officiate the day. The following was written by Sophie, a sports leader from the Ashley School in Lowestoft.
We have really enjoyed being involved with Panathlon. We started working with Panathlon on the Multisport competition with East Point Academy leaders, we were very nervous about the young official’s award, working with mainstream students.This soon disappeared as we got to know each other and we really worked well together on the day. It was a lovely experience meeting new people and getting to lead activities with them. This has given me and everyone else more confidence setting up all the activities, explaining the rules, demonstrating, refereeing/officiating and scoring our activity. Stephen said “I worked with Ewan and Cullum from East Point on table cricket. We worked well as a team and I felt in control of my event. The youngsters that took part really enjoyed the activity and I felt very proud of myself at the end of the day.”Talia said “I had to officiate new age curling which is completely new sport to me. As the day progressed I felt more confident in officiating and explaining the rules on the game. Having the leaders t-shirt to wear made me feel like part of the team.

It was a fantastic day to be involved in.”Keely said “I loved the day, it was a fantastic experience. I now feel confident to officiate all the games. I enjoyed it so much I volunteered to do the semi-final and to assist with the finals.”These experiences lead us to officiate at the Boccia competitions held for North Suffolk. Again all the leaders were trained to help, this time in the Boccia England Young Officials award and with all the experience gained we have now done enough to get our National Governing body qualification.

Jackie Milton – Head of P.E Ashley School Academy Trust said “My Leaders have learnt a tremendous amount about the Panathlon challenge, the activities, the rules, the delivery and the officiating. Their confidence has meant that have now also officiated again on a Panathlon event and the Boccia has seen them again greatly improve in confidence,  watching them officiate alongside mainstream leaders has made me very proud.As a school we have benefited from learning about the Panathlon Foundation, the disability events they run, the sports we can now be involved in and we and have now included the Panathlon sports into our P.E programme. Thanks to the Panathlon team for all their help and support.”