Panathlon recently visited Birmingham to deliver 2 consecutive days of Panathlon coaching and competition. With funding from the Bulldog Trust, Panathlon were able to provide an afternoon of Primary Panathlon coaching at Longwill Deaf School in South Birmingham, before heading to the North of the city on the following day to deliver a Primary Panathlon Competition for 9 local schools at Nechells Leisure Centre.

The first coaching day on Wednesday the 26th October involved 19 primary aged deaf students from Longwill Deaf School. Over the course of the afternoon, the school, who have not previously taken part in any Panathlon activity, got to grips with Boccia Blast, Flight Path, New Age Kurling and Polybat as a great alternative to table-tennis. “Recently the students have been doing cross country in their PE lessons so it will be great for them to try out some skill based activities that can be played inside on rainy days such as this” said Erin Straw, teacher at Longwill Deaf School.  “All of the activities have been designed for everyone to play and it’s interesting to see how they can be adapted and progressed to ensure everyone is being challenged. We would be interested in getting some of the equipment so we can sharpen up our skills and take part in the next competitive event that Panathlon hold in the area.” PE Teacher at Longwill School.

The second day saw a total of 83 students attend from 8 schools. Cherry Oak, Victoria, Chadsgrove, Wilson Stuart, Calthorpe, Topcliffe, Montgomery and Dame Ellen Pinsent Schools’ comprised 9 different teams which competed across 9 activities. After posting high scores in Flight Path and Messi Football, Montgomery school looked tough to beat but they faded towards the end of the competition. It was a valiant effort from Calthorpe school who showed their skill and determination in Table Cricket and Flight Path which won them the overall bronze medal. The extremely fast Wilson Stuart school posted the fastest time in Parachute Popcorn, allowing them to snatch the silver medal, whilst Dame Ellen Pinsent School achieved remarkable results across Basketball Shoot and Messi Football, to be crowned champions of the day.

“It’s been great to access such a well organised and appropriately arranged event for our students.” Jo Gavin, Teacher at Cherry Oak School.

“Today allowed our children to shine in sport for the first time. Thank you for an amazing day out.” Hollie Williams, Teacher at Topcliffe Primary School.

“The children absolutely loved the session you ran yesterday, it is all I have heard about all morning. Every single member of staff have also been singing your praises and Martin (the teacher in the session) said how he would like to run Panathlon sessions in school from now on.” Erin Straw, Teacher at Longwill Deaf School.