I think it is a fantastic charity. The more people, of all abilities, that you can get involved in sport and health and fitness in a fun and engaging way can only be a good thing. And to have this event at the London Aquatics Centre is just another example of the legacy of London 2012
There was nothing like this available to me when I was a kid. I wish I’d had the opportunity that these children have got. What Panathlon are doing is brilliant and I’m really happy to be here and try to inspire these kids to keep doing it.
It’s fantastic what Panathlon does for disabled children. When I was first disabled and in a mainstream school, PE was really limited and the teachers didn’t really know what to do with me. If Panathlon had been available to me then, it would have helped me a lot for sure.
The atmosphere that Panathlon creates is awesome. These people here are playing to win and it’s nice to see that attitude amongst them. I think it’s important that everybody has the chance to compete and take part at whatever level they want to.
Panathlon is always fun, but it’s not just about playing games. It’s about competing for your school against another school. The kids feel proud about that and want to do well. They love it.
I’ve been coming to Panathlon events for years and what never ceases to amaze me is how much enjoyment the athletes get from the competition and how competitive they are. But what is truly amazing is how the event has now grown. With over 200 events a year now, Panathlon really has cemented itself in the sporting calendar.
The Mayor and I are delighted to be supporting the Panathlon Final, the culmination of a year-long programme of fantastic sporting activity. The Panathlon Foundation do incredible work that benefits thousands of young disabled Londoners and their appearance at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a fitting finale to the year.
I am inspired by the work of Panathlon and it gives me great joy to see the happiness on the young people’s faces.
Panathlon provides an opportunity for disabled children to mix with others and experience competition; which is so important. Every person in the team matters and has a contribution to make to the final points score. Participation in sport sets you up for life, and every child should be encouraged to get involved.
It is fantastic to see Panathlon going from strength to strength every year, helping to inspire young people to get involved in sport. Grassroots competitions such as this are crucial if we are to achieve our goal of building a lasting sporting legacy in the capital from the 2012 Games. My Sports Legacy Fund was established to support exactly this kind of event.
I am proud that partners such as Panathlon are delivering on our vision of the Olympic & Paralympic Games boosting sports participation.
The Panathlon Challenge is unique and I hope that many more young people have the opportunity to take part in the future.
The Panathlon Challenge is a great way of encouraging young people into sport. I hope many more young people have the opportunity to compete in the future.
If there’s anything that demonstrates an Olympic and Paralympic legacy, it’s this. Some of the legacy has got a bit lost along the way, but not here. That’s why I love it so much. No-one else is doing anything like this. There is no other organisation that puts on something this inclusive and this competitive. It’s completely unique and I think they deserve as much funding as possible.
It’s so important for the children, because they might not get the chance to compete anywhere else.
Panathlon helps with the kids’ independence and helps them socially, meeting other children from other schools and just giving them a bit of experience of life outside of school.
Panathlon is important to us. We run our own festivals and various SEN clubs, but this gives us a competitive outlet; something to work towards. It’s great for the kids.
Last year it was just Ryan who came along. Ryan doesn’t play in any school teams, but with the way Panathlon is structured, with fun, different activities, he really enjoyed it. When he got back to school with a medal, he was just hero worshipped. It was just brilliant for his self-esteem.
In terms of offer for disabled children, Panathlon is the strongest example of how to run an event that is exciting, enjoyable and challenging but brings wide benefits as well as the activity. It’s a model that’s needed throughout the country, there’s no doubt.
“The competitive element is really, really important for me, I’ve never been here before and at first I was quite daunted and felt nervous but when you’re in the water you just feel free.”
“We’ve got more less-able pupils here now than in previous years. They simply don’t have the skills or athleticism to take part in tennis or football, but they can all access kurling or boccia – that’s the beauty of it. It enables all of our pupils to participate. Panathlon has enabled us to provide a much broader curriculum and range of sports, especially for more physically disabled children in wheelchairs. It has enriched our school provision greatly.”
We love Panathlon. There’s always something for everyone. That’s what’s fantastic about it. It’s a major part of our PE year.
It’s the best event we’ve been to so far. It’s a brilliant atmosphere and a really good competition. If you’d seen where these kids have come from, it’s incredible, especially one of our boys, Alley. This time last year he was terrified of water and now he’s competed here. I’m really proud of him. The children are so proud of themselves, when they go back to school, there is such a big fuss made of them and their confidence is boosted so much by it.
“This is so wonderful because they are normally a group of children who don’t get to go out on activities like this, when they saw the Olympic Stadium on the way here their mouths were gaping open. It’s just such a special atmosphere. The Panathlon sports are perfectly pitched – they are just difficult enough while allowing them to score plenty of points. This is a brilliant and priceless opportunity because they wouldn’t necessarily get the opportunity to represent the school otherwise.”
Panathlon gives the children more freedom. At school they are restricted to their schedules, but when they come here there’s more going on. They can go around and observe other things as well as participating themselves.
Panathlon helps with the kids’ independence and helps them socially, meeting other children from other schools and just giving them a bit of experience of life outside of school. Plus life is one big competition.
We’ve never represented the county in anything before, so that’s great. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students.
This is a wonderful day, encouraging a great deal of social interaction. This is such an important aspect of the language resource of learning. Thank you so much for all your hard work in making Panathlon competitions happen.
This is the first time the school has competed externally, what an experience for them to come here with children from other parts of the region.
Most of our students don’t get chance to take part in activities like this outside of school, so this sort of thing is invaluable.
It’s amazing. The kids couldn’t stop talking about it. They’ve been working really hard over the last term – practice, practice, practice. They’ve been really excited about today for a few weeks. Look at the venue. You couldn’t ask for anywhere better to compete – this really is the icing on the cake.
Panathlon has been a big help for me. It inspires me and it inspires so many to take part in sport. It’s a really good experience. It feels really good to take part, to represent my school and Cambridgeshire. I’m really happy.
Panathlon is a fantastic event. It’s changed the way we do sport in school. We’ve set up after school clubs specifically for Panathlon so we train pupils up all the way through. There are other competitions, but Panathlon is definitely the best. It’s like the World Cup.
What a brilliant event, we are so pleased to have had this number of schools from across the county involved and starting them up so young into the Panathlon programme
The biggest thing our youngsters get out of it is a lot of confidence and the experience of achieving success as a team. We really welcome the competitive element of this event. Whether they are winning or losing, it is a great experience and teaches them what they need to practise, and the importance of it
Panathlon gives young people a sense of pride, self-esteem and achievement. You can take that into all aspects of life.
Panathlon is good for us because it caters for those kids who don’t have much opportunity. It means every child gets to take part in a competition outside of school. It’s a privilege to be here and the kids love it.
I don’t do any sport other than Panathlon. It is my world! I’m leaving school to go to college so this is my last competition and I’m really sad, but I have had a fantastic time over the last few years, especially the years that we won!