Yesterday Panathlon visited Becontree Leisure Centre in Dagenham to deliver a Primary Panathlon packed to full capacity, with 11 schools and 88 students competing.

The competition was the second of three Primary Panathlons taking place in Barking & Dagenham this academic year, due to huge demand across the borough.

In the early stages, each school got to grips with the various events, which develop foundation skills in a range of Panathlon sports. Dorothy Barley Infant School and St Peter’s Primary School looked extremely impressive in table cricket and volleybat early on, while Manor Infant School, Village Infants’ School and Trinity School competed well across boccia and kurling.

But it was Valance Primary School, Southwood Primary School and Richard Alibon Primary School, all consistently good across all of the sports, who began pulling away from the other teams by the halfway mark.

By the end of the competition, Valance held first place to take the gold medal and the championship, much to the delight of all the team!

Southwood took the silver medal, while William Bellamy Primary School performed incredibly well to claw their way back to the leaders after the break to win bronze.

“This is the third Primary Panathlon we have been to and I wanted to say how much it has changed some of my students for the better,” said Donna Rose, teacher at William Bellamy.

“One girl here used to hate PE and often forget her kit for lessons. We took a punt and brought her to the first Panathlon competition and the change in her was huge. The fact she won a medal and was recognised for her efforts seemed to do wonders for her confidence.

“Now she continuously shows enthusiasm in PE and is always asking when the next Panathlon event is. The change in her confidence and focus has blown me away.

“Many of our students win their first ever medals at your events and the impact that has on them is massive. We look forward to the next competition. Thank you!”

On another day of great Panathlon action and positive feedback from those taking part, our thanks must go to the leaders and volunteers from All Saints School and EQ Investors for their help officiating across the various sports.

Thank you to our funders: