Shorefields school in Clacton have been taking part in the Panathlon competitions for over 7 years.
Geographically distance is an issue, but the school has seen such benefit that they always attend the events no matter how far away as they feel the students benefit immensely from participating.
As a school, Shorefields feels that there are very few events they can attend due to the needs of their students, but the Panathlon events do cater for all abilities. When the students are invited to attend a Panathlon event they are so excited and they love the opportunity to see friends and peers also taking part competitively.
Shorefields has taken swimming on board due to Panathlon and as an event have attended the Panathlon swimming galas many times and this is the school’s favourite event.
The school always looks at hiring the Butlins swimming pool, so they can get some lessons in beforehand and give children confidence in the water and participating.
The Panathlon gala has helped students become more confident in the water. One child who on her first visit to a pool would only walk in the water holding a staff members hand, but now after attending Panathlon gala’s she has become confident enough to swim on her own.
The Panathlon events have encouraged Shorefields students to attend different environments and meet new people. Many of the students have attend several events and now recognise other students from other schools and say hello which is great for social interaction and communication skill development.
Just in the period from Sept 2019 to March 2020, PE lead Vicky Beales, (Pictured left in the pool with a student) has been able to offer around 40 different students the chance to take part in a Panathlon event.
Vicky says, “I personally feel the Panathlon has had such a huge impact not only on my school but on many schools over the country. The dedication, organisation and knowledge of the staff make all the events enjoyable and relaxing. There is very little pressure on winning and they encourage every single student.
I feel without the Panathlon many students would not get the opportunity to take part in events. It also encourages students to try new sports and also maybe pursue the sport at a higher level.
Sports like the Ten Pin Bowling have allowed different children to be engaged. It’s been a brilliant addition to the events programme day and it’s great to bring different children to those who attend the multi-sport competitions. These children can’t compete in the multi-sport competition, but something like this is perfect for them. They have loved their day out and enjoyed the competition”
Vicky says, “I can not thank the Panathlon enough for the opportunities they have given to our students over the last 7 years. The little personal touches of medals, T-shirts and the well done’s and ‘congratulations’ – make such a difference to the confidence of the students.“
Thanks to our various funders for making all this possible,