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.
I’ve really enjoyed Panathlon. It’s really helped me to be more confident and to get more involved in sport. A few years ago I couldn’t have imagined myself here.
It’s really important that all kids, no matter what their ability level, have the opportunity to compete against other children of similar ability on a fair level. Every child has a right to take part in sporting activity and enter competitions.
“For them to be competing in the same venue where world-class athletes have performed just swells their pride. Their excitement levels have been through the roof!”
This was our first time at Panathlon and it has made our kids realise how much fun they could have and what they could learn. It has been a real eye opener for them!
We will always support Panathlon, because it is a wonderful thing for the children. The event gives them a great opportunity to compete against their peers.
It feels like heaven, this is what pure enjoyment feels like, It being Columbus’s first every victory just makes it that more sweet.
There are no events for me to go to apart from Panathlon. It’s really good to be here representing my school and my borough. I’m really excited about going to the Olympic Park.
We’ve been to a few events in the past and she is usually the only student in a powerchair, so to come here today where she can compete against other students on a fair playing field is fantastic.
Panathlon gives young people a sense of pride, self-esteem and achievement. You can take that into all aspects of life.
We’ve started local events to get as many children competing as possible. We then use those as a selection process for Panathlon, so we’re giving children a stepping stone to representing the borough. It gives them something to strive to and gives an end product to their competitions locally.
Panathlon builds up these students’ confidence. They can see that they can achieve well, they meet other people and they make friends, so it’s very good for their confidence and independence.
They’re a great little team. The day after a Panathlon you see them walking round the school with the medals around their necks looking so proud. They’re absolutely buzzing.
Watching Tom Daley before was just awesome. I love Panathlon because when I get frustrated or angry, it makes me feel free just to run or swim and forget everything else.
There aren’t usually many opportunities for these children, particularly those in wheelchairs, but Panathlon provides quite a big range of sports for them to do. It also helps develop life skills, their behaviour and social skills.
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.
I never thought I’d win the wheelchair slalom. It’s the first time I’ve won anything at Panathlon. I feel great. We play sports at school and practice hard at them.
The kids love it. They really enjoy Panathlon and, being in a mainstream school, they really appreciate getting these opportunities. It’s really important.
The most important thing here is that the children get to participate in a competitive event which has rules that you have to play within, but offers the opportunity to be successful no matter how good you are at it.
Panathlon is very important to us at Swiss Cottage School. They feel like stars when they are taking part and the school is really proud of them. It gives them a lot of confidence and they start to believe in themselves. I think it’s a great experience for them.
“I love it here because it doesn’t make me feel like I’m unusual. Most of the time at school if my legs go and I collapse, I feel unusual, but being here with all these people just makes me feel regular. This is my third Panathlon and it makes me feel there’s other people like me. It makes me feel normal for once. Panathlon makes me feel happy. When I get home I am going to hang my medal on my bedroom wall.”
Our kids just love the competitive spirit of Panathlon. There’s great sportsmanship here and they take part in every event with lots of enthusiasm. It’s wonderful.
We’ve got kids here today from all different year groups who don’t normally mix together, but here they are all one team and are working well together. The camaraderie in the team is great.
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.
What a fantastic event. The atmosphere throughout was one of encouragement and support. All the young people swam incredibly well and loved competing in this type of environment.