Teams of disabled young people from Bridlington jumped into the town’s new Leisure Centre pool, trying out Panathlon’s Primary Swim gala for the first time.

With a vista of the east coast and the Bridlington Bay as a background, the team of students from Bempton School came out on top as 24 disabled young people from three schools battled for the right to go onto the North England under-14 Finals to be held at Ponds Forge International Pool in June.

Dave Newby, Bempton School’s assistant PE Co-ordinator said, “Out of this team of 8 children, only 3 attend sporting events, the other 5 are new to sporting events thanks to Panathlon.

Panathlon introduced these children to sport firstly through the Ten Pin Bowling competition and now they all put their hand up when Panathlon holds any event. All the team thoroughly enjoyed this event and are now looking forward to going to Ponds Forge and attending other Panathlon events in the East Riding area.

Annabel, one of Bempton’s swimmers who helped secure the team wins in the 25m freestyle, 25m Relay, and the Slam Dunk races commented, “the competition was intense; it was great being part of a team. I don’t have lessons but I try to learn to swim when I come with my parents to have fun in the pool. This is the first time I have ever been in a real race, it was such great fun.”

Angel Rhodes, Bridlington School Sport Partnership PDM said, “The Panathlon events have been a real revelation for my School Sports Partnership. We have seen such a brilliant response from our schools and Panathlon has provided so many children with the opportunity to be able to represent their school for the first time.

This gala was a first for us and we can’t wait to have the next one. The feedback from these competing schools will attract others to join. It has been amazing to see children who aren’t swimmers competing.”