As well as our ‘pan-disability’ competitions, Panathlon provides programmes that are specifically designed for those with particular impairments.
These events not only provide a completely ‘level playing field’ for the competitors, but they enable participants to compete and socialise with other young people who they can relate to.
This crucial opportunity for meaningful social interaction can be priceless for participants. It’s particularly true for deaf and hearing-impaired children, for whom we run swimming, boccia, ten-pin bowling, multi-sport and football competitions. Over 1,500 deaf and hearing impaired young people took part across England and Wales in 2018/19.
One of many examples of the impact of our impairment-specific events is Clinton Osonda, a student from Oak Lodge School in Edgware, London. He was delighted to compete at our National Under-18 Deaf Swimming Final at the London 2012 Aquatics Centre.
“It’s really good that you guys do deaf competitions. It doesn’t matter if you come first, second, third or last, we all have a good time together. We’re all here, we’re all deaf and it makes us feel part of a community.”
Other impairment-specific sports include powerchair hockey and powerchair football. You can see highlights from last year’s powerchair hockey days here and thanks go to our partners at Greenbank Academy for helping us to develop this sport.