Panathlon recently swept into Birmingham to deliver three days of Primary competitions involving over 240 children.
Day one saw 72 competitors from seven schools with 10 teams involved. A thrilling contest saw Panathlon regulars Timberley Academy’s gold team pip New Oscott Primary by one point for victory. Newcomers The Pines’ blue team gained bronze medals.
The Pines Lead PE teacher said: “All class teachers have come back to me to report about the Primary Panathlon and have said how brilliant it was. They said how inclusive and nicely balanced the day was. All children were ecstatic and cannot wait to be further involved in Panathlon.”
This was echoed by Jo Gavin from Cherry Oak School in Birmingham, who said: “It’s been great to access such a well organised and appropriately arranged event for our students.”
Day two saw 82 competitors with 11 teams involved. Previous high achievers in this event, The Rosary School, again stood out. They were clear winners ahead of Beaufort School who put in a sterling effort to be runners-up, just ahead of Wilson Stuart in third.
Liam Mansell, teacher in charge at The Rosary, said: “This has been a very well run event. Panathlon is a great way to include all SEN children. The children at the Rosary look forward to this event all year round.”
Khalid, a member of The Rosary team, said: “I love Panathlon; the football is my favourite. It’s fantastic fun.”
West Heath School made their Panathlon debut at this event with two teams. Teach in charge, Adam Hooper, said: “Thank you so much for today. Our pupils had a great time and their faces when they walked back into school with their medals were priceless. Staff were impressed by everything, it was really well organised and it was a great experience for our pupils. If there are any events coming up in the future, West Heath will be there”.
Watching their daughter, Erin Flynn, in the West Heath team were parents, Kerry and John Flynn. “What an experience for Erin,” they commented. “We were proud of her and West Heath’s achievements and we saw her get her medal.”
Day three saw previous winners Topcliffe battle 10 other teams. Newcomers Great Barr came to the fore across three sports and pipped Topcliffe for day three’s Primary title.
Teacher Luke Stevens said: “What an event – we will be back!” Teaching Assistant Michelle Summlar added: “This is just the beginning for us in Panathlon, we can’t wait till the next event.”
Team member Declan reflected: “This is the first medal I have every won!” while Luca Moulard-Stevens collected a special medal for getting a maximum school in the Bean Bag, the only child to do so.
Panathlon wishes to thank all leaders across the three days, Birmingham Met College, Bournville College and Colmers School.
Debbie Bailey, teacher in charge of leadership at Colmers, said: “This is a great experience for these you people, learning to understand what these young disabled people can do.”
Nathan Tipping, one of Colmers’ young leaders, offered: “The day overall was very good. I enjoyed helping the children complete the task and be able to participate in them myself. It was good to show my leadership skills and make the day enjoyable for all of the children.
Sophie Peduzzi added: “I enjoyed taking part in leading the ‘Flight Pilot’ activity at the Panathlon on Friday as I was able to show and develop some of my leadership skills in order to suit all the children. I also liked being given the responsibility to decide how we should best go about our tasks”.
A huge amount of thanks also goes to Birmingham Inclusive lead, Faye Haworth of Wilson Stuart School.