The primary purpose of the Panathlon swim programme is to introduce young people with disabilities / SEN to water experiences for the first time.
We have seen a huge growth in demand for swimming since the launch of programme in 2013 and now involves separate competitions for primary, secondary and impairment specific galas such as for deaf / hearing impaired.
The 2018/19 school year saw 48 events take place across the length and breadth of the country, with nearly 2,000 competitors involved. This year also saw the North and South of England Finals, and our U14 and U19 National Finals!
The format, which encourages swimmers and non-swimmers alike to participate in individual and team challenges, has enabled children to have improved and first-time experiences in a pool, with around 35% of the participants enjoying being in a pool for the first time.
We also had various Paralympic gold medal swimmers attend our competitions, helping out in the water – see both the videos on this page.
This short film explains the format of the Panathlon swim programme:
Our charity ambassador, Liz Johnson, who has attended multiple Panathlon swimming competition said: “It’s fantastic that Panathlon’s swimming programme is featured in over 19 counties! Which again demonstrates how far Panathlon has come in a few years.
“I’ve seen Panathlon grow bigger across the country and add new elements like the Primary Panathlon and new sports, such as my own, swimming. I’ve had a great time in the water today and maybe one day, who knows, a new Paralympic swimmer may come from a competition such as this!”
Here are some highlights from the East London Panathlon swimming event: