November was officially Panathlon’s biggest ever month of sporting activity as we staged 142 events in 22 school days across England and Wales!
As the days got shorter and the weather grew colder, the action at Panathlon venues across the nation just got hotter.
We had an astonishing 7,127 competitors with disabilities and special needs taking part in Panathlon competitions across the month – all of them offered a platform to succeed in sport and the priceless experience of representing their school that they are so often otherwise denied.
Supporting the young people and officiating the competitions were 1,362 Young Leaders – all of them developing confidence, leadership and communication skills and gaining experience of working with children with disabilities and special needs.
Our 142 events over 22 school days means we delivered an average of 6.5 events per day.
These figures eclipse our previous best, recorded in March this year, in which 5081 pupils and 848 leaders participated.
The figures reaffirm our incredibly strong return from Covid-19 to an even greater level of provision than before the pandemic. Our competitive pathway of local, county and regional finals is being re-established in many parts of the country.
Highlights in November included our first ever swimming gala in Cumbria, which was inspired by 10-year-old Jessica Nevison, high-flyers from our sponsors Speedo helping out at a showcase gala at the London 2012 Aquatic Centre, 10-pin bowling in Greater Manchester with schools from our new partners The Co-Op Academies Trust and a multisport event in Calderdale where pupils enjoyed their first trip our of school in over three years.
We also met Scarlett Rickwood from Greenways Primary School in Southend – winner of our Southend Primary Outstanding Achiever award in association with Woodland Group.
Her mum Natasha said: “Although she finds it tough academically, the hard work she puts in at Panathlons gets rewarded with a medal and a sense of achievement. She is so proud of herself – and we are so proud of her. We have loved her taking part in it.
“This is such a wonderful platform for children with additional needs. Everyone is treated equally and no-one is excluded. It’s a much more level playing field than an academic exam where she is at a disadvantage form the start.”
A massive thank you to all our sponsors for continuing to support our rapid growth!