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It’s so important for the children, because they might not get the chance to compete anywhere else.

St Augustine’s Sports Development Officer, Dawn Kelly

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.

Judy Wells, teaching assistant, Fairfax School, Birmingham

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.

Steve Peaty, Newham team manager

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.

Jo Pople, teaching assistant at Watermoor Primary School, Cirencester, Glos

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.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive of the English Federation of Disability Sport

“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.”

Jack Woolston, 14, Ashley School

“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.”

Sherwood Park Deputy Headteacher Sue Fergusson

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.

Simon Hughes, senior teaching assistant at The Bridge School, Islington

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.

Sam Stevens, sports coach at Trinity School, Barking & Dagenham

“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.”

Chris Payne, Sellincourt Primary

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.

Aaron Bint, PE teacher at Queensmill School, Hammersmith & Fulham

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.

Judy Wells, teaching assistant, Fairfax School.

We’ve never represented the county in anything before, so that’s great. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students.

Brianne Hogg, PE co-ordinator at Riverwalk School, Bury

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.

Karen Pincott, Inclusion Manager at Mead Primary School, Havering

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.

Roseanne Hutchinson, Delamere, Trafford

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.

Sally Proctor, teacher at Heritage House, Chesham

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.

Jonathan Bath, teacher at The Village School, Brent

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.

Matthew O’Leary, Cambridgeshire

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.

Luke Hammatt, PE teacher at Trinity School, Barking & Dagenham

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

Phil Truby, an Events Officer from Yorkshire Sports Foundation

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

Brandon Mullin, head of PE at Beacon Hill Academy

Panathlon gives young people a sense of pride, self-esteem and achievement. You can take that into all aspects of life.

Elaine Burgess, school games organiser for Barking & Dagenham

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.

Kamil Hajdrych, PE coordinator at Stormont House School, Hackney

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!

Charlotte Whale, aged 19, Ashford, Kent