Olivia and Ellie Chaviaris from St Peter’s Catholic Primary School in East Grinstead raised over £300 for Panathlon by organising a basketball ‘bounce-a-thon’! 

Olivia, 9, and Ellie, 7, were inspired by their dad Nic, who represents Great Britain in international Masters tournaments and runs his own inclusive basketball coaching company

The girls wanted to donate all funds raised to a charity who deliver sport to children with disabilities and discovered Panathlon through a simple Google search, having never heard of us before!

The girls set a target of 20,000 basketball bounces with every single pupil in the school taking part throughout the school day. In the end, they more than doubled that by achieving 59,948 bounces. 

Panathlon event manager James Tinney visited the school to thank Olivia and Ellie and award them with certificates and Panathlon medals for their sterling efforts. 

The counting of basketball bounces was a thoroughly planned operation with each pupil recording their individual numbers. A long session with the calculator was needed at the end of the school day to add up over 200 pupils’ totals. 

On the same day, staff from Albion in the Community (the Club Charitable Organisation of Brighton and Hove Albion FC) came into school with wheelchairs and other equipment to allow pupils to try out seated volleyball, boccia and blind football.

We now hope to welcome St Peter’s into the Panathlon family and hope their pupils with disabilities and special needs join our programmes. 

“We absolutely loved the bounce-a-thon,” said Ellie. “The scariest bit was having to stand up in front of the whole school before the day to tell them what we were doing and hand out donation slips.”