The Humberside region has been an area of rapid expansion for Panathlon over the last few years, building lasting relationships with key organisations in the region.

School Games organisers incorporated within the area have helped oversee embedding of Panathlon programmes across the age ranges.

Mark Arridge, Director of Sport and School Games organiser with Hull Active Schools Secondary and Inclusion Partnership Development Manager, lauded his organisation’s partnership with Panathlon, saying: “We have an excellent working relationship with Panathlon’s Howard Nicholls and Tony Waymouth.”

Arridge added: “Hull Active Schools have planned a full programme for 2020/2021 which Panathlon plays a key role in providing opportunities for students who in the past have often not had the chance to take part in inter-school competition.”

Arridge further praised the Panathlon Foundation for helping his organisation engage with group who were less likely to partake in activities:

“The engagement with Alternative Provision and Pupil Referral Units (AP/PRU) is not as high as compared to other educational institutions. Within the Youth Trust Lead Inclusion Schools Network, there has been a real focus to increase engagement.”

The organisation has built up a strong partnership with four schools in the area: “Hull Active Schools has established an excellent working relationship with Oakfield School, Boulevard Centre and Rise Academy from Hull and Phoenix House from Grimsby.”

The North East Lincolnshire area of Humberside, came on board in early 2020, with Craig Dobbs, Development Manager of the North East Lincolnshire School Sport Partnership, hosted by Oasis Academy Wintringham and has seen at first hand the impact of the pilot work.

“At the start of the academic year, one of our priorities was to develop our inclusive programme for both primary and secondary schools. Panathlon had come onto my radar and the feedback about the charity was exceptional.

Working with Tony Waymouth at Panathlon, we set a pilot programme and now  have delivered some fantastic new opportunities for the young people of North East Lincolnshire.

During the 19/20 academic year, over 120 SEN students and 40 leaders from 18 schools have attended the primary/secondary Panathlon events which were exceptionally well organised with a wide variety of age/ability specific activities.

The young leaders from Beacon Academy and Havelock Academy have been inspired in helping run the events and they also acknowledge a better understanding of disability through being involved in these leadership roles.

The attention to detail and the enthusiasm of Tony and Howard inspired both the participants as well as the students leading the activities. Feedback from school staff and the young people attending has been excellent and their first experiences of sport/physical activity was overwhelmingly positive!

We look forward to working with the Panathlon Foundation to develop the programme further with ten pin and swimming events in the future!”

Francesca McAvoy – lead of PE, of the Beacon Academy, Cleethorpes who have provided venue and leaders also said, ”Thank you so much for your visit – we all thoroughly enjoyed it and we welcome you back at any time, they young leaders said this was an event they have got more out of than any others, high praise indeed.”

One of the original area participants has been Bridlington and lead Angel Rhodes. Without her initial enthusiasm for the charity, the area may not have developed as it has. Angel 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. We hope to develop more and more days with the charity. My advice to others is you haven’t been involved with Panathlon – JUST DO IT! “

One of the Bridlington Schools, Flamborough travelled to London for the National Primary Panathlon Finals, Rachel Dinsdale lead of PE said Thank you so much for yesterday, we had an amazing time. The journey home was a bit of a nightmare with train delays due to flooding but we eventually got the kids back to school for 10.30pm pick-up . The kids never moaned once, they were fantastic, all they could do was keep talking about the day.

“We had a lovely walk round the Olympic park and for both the children and staff it will be a day we will remember forever!!

They all made it into school this morning and have worn their medals all day. I am so proud of them.”