Over the academic year 2016/2017, the Panathlon Powerchair programme involved a record number of pupils after developing a London-wide competition.
Competitions in the North, South, East and West of London saw a total of over 50 students comprising 12 teams challenging for Gold at the Finals in Hackney.
Thanks to partnership with Greenbank Sports Academy in Liverpool and funding from City Bridge Trust, Panathlon have increased participation in the sport over the last 3 years culminating in a competitive format.
The feedback from schools suggested a real demand for the competition which allows physically disabled students to compete on a level playing field alongside their non-disabled peers at school.
Mohammed from Quentin Kynaston School commented, “I’ve never played this sport before. My teacher told me about it at the start of the year but I didn’t know what to expect at all. The chairs are fast and take a bit of getting used to, but it’s seriously good fun. I was talking to my team mate earlier and we want to start a team and play on a regular basis.”
An opinion echoed from many others in attendance. Guy Wilkins, a teacher at Marjorie McClure School who has encouraged many of his students to take part over the years said, “It’s a brilliant way to get the mainstream students from our partner school competing alongside their peers. So obviously the social benefits are huge.”
Panathlon now hope to run a similar programme over the next academic year, reaching even more students and developing the sport further.
Richard Cloudesley / East Lea / Eastbrook / Marshalls Park / Burntwood / Coopers / Marjorie McClure / Coteford / John Chilton / Quintin Kynaston
London Finals Results:
1st Quintin Kynaston
3rd joint Eastbrook and Marshalls Park