Panathlon’s Virtual Programme is a series of ideas designed to facilitate competitive sport for SEND pupils on school premises, led by staff using existing school equipment.

Our Virtual Programme began in September 2020 when Covid-19 restrictions prevented us staging our usual calendar of external competitions. We decided that if we can’t get the schools to come to us, we should go to them!

In its first year, at the height of the pandemic, 45,845 pupils with SEND from 583 schools participated across England and Wales. Despite the subsequent easing of Covid-19 restrictions and the resumption of our external competitions, the virtual programme remained popular – 12,000 took part in 2022/23.

The programme features resource packs, activity cards and instructional video clips for staff to run events themselves on-site. There are separate packs for primary, secondary and special schools as well as specific guides for in-school 10-pin bowling, new-age kurling, boccia, table top, swimming (for both 5m and 10m pools), football, tennis, cricket and an outdoor summer programme. Schools can even train their own Young Leaders to officiate and guide their younger peers during competition.

All the activities are skill-based and designed for schools to deliver the Panathlon ‘fair play’ ethos and develop confidence and self-belief in every individual.

Our virtual offer gives teachers the resources and flexibility to do these activities in class, assembly halls, swimming pools and playgrounds. It includes full video guides, written explanations, templates and score sheets.

Schools can pick and choose any aspect of the offer that suits them – there’s no time limit or expectation of completing all the activities.

Each school submits their results and sends monitoring forms to a Panathlon representative. We then send back certificates and medals.

Download the Panathlon Virtual Programme brochure here

To get involved in Panathlon’s Virtual Programme, just email Tony Waymouth at

Primary schools

Secondary schools

Special Schools

Ten-Pin Bowling

New-Age Kurling


To download PDFs which give an overview of our ‘virtual’ in-school activities, click the relevant link below:

To download PDFs which give an overview of our virtual swimming programme, click the relevant link below:

Virtual swimming – 5m pools

Virtual swimming – 10m pools