St. Joseph’s RC Primary School in Oldham were crowned Panathlon North West Primary champions on Tuesday and called the experience “something we’ll never forget!”
Seven schools from Bolton, Warrington, Blackpool, Salford and Oldham had all battled through qualifying rounds to make the regional final, which was held at Bolton Arena and delivered in partnership with Bolton Wanderers in the Community.
St Joseph’s pipped Prestolee Primary from Bolton (representing IQM) into silver medal position, with St Luke’s from Salford finishing third.
“The children were very excited to be representing not only our school but also the whole of Greater Manchester today, so to come away as champions means everything to them,” said St. Jospeh’s deputy headteacher Steve Hill. “They’re thrilled – it’s something they’ll never forget!”
Mr Hill added: “Taking part in the various Panathlon competitions this year has been brilliant for this group of children. They have really bonded as a team.
“They have really developed their teamwork and their confidence and self-esteem has rocketed. The children have been so proud sharing their amazing achievements with the rest of the school in assembly.
“Panathlon has simply been brilliant for these children and we very much look forward to participating again next year!”
Panathlon Ambassador Nathan Maguire, the Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning wheelchair racer, attended the event and gave the children an inspirational speech as well as presenting medals, trophies and certificates. The day’s brilliant Young Leaders were from Kearsley Academy.
Panathlon Chief Operating Officer Tony Waymouth commented: “It’s great to see schools so invested in our pathway events and motivated to progress through the rounds, travel beyond their own area and reach the pinnacle.
“Pathway events mean much more than just the sport – they offer experiences such as forming friendships, chatting on the bus with different year groups and building independence. We know these translate into the classroom and enhance school life.”
Nathan, the British T54 wheelchair record holder, added: “I think the children’s main excitement was beating me in the relay race! It was particularly great to meet a teacher who was at a session run by myself and Debbie Davies at the Salford PE conference last year. She had brought her school along having never known about Panathlon before.”