• 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.

    Kate Hoey ex -MP Commissioner for Sport
  • 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.

    Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, multi-Paralympic gold medallist
  • 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.

    Freya Levy, a member of the Great Britain wheelchair basketball team
  • 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.

    Danny Crates, Paralympic gold medallist and world record holder in the 800m (T46) and Panathlon patron
  • “It’s been great to work with schools in the north west through Panathlon and see the pupils develop in confidence, and learn that you can break down barriers. When I give out medals and certificates, I can see the difference it makes to those pupils and it’s wonderful.”

    James Dixon, England deaf cricket international

“The reward the children get from medals and trophies at Panathlons blow every other competition away. They are phenomenal. It is so important to kids to have that visual recognition of their effort and success. These are special memories they will look back and remember for years.”

Gemma Spiers, Pastoral Lead, Paget Primary School, Birmingham

“This is an unbelievable opportunity to compete at what is quite a high level for them. It gives them a place where they can use their abilities. They get so much out of it and it will stand them in good stead for other areas of life.”

Robin Elliott, Riverside School, Haringey, North London

“Panathlon’s impact really became clear to me during lockdown. The impact of it not being there was huge. We really felt the absence… The progression through the qualifying rounds is a really rewarding system for them. I don’t think you can put a price on that.”

Darrell King, PE teacher, Langdon School, Newham, East London

“In life in general, not just sport, we’ve always made it clear to our kids that the more you practise and the more determined you are, the better the result will be. They definitely learn those lessons through Panathlon.”

Simon Hughes, PE instructor, Oaktree School, Enfield, North London

“This is going to have an amazing impact on their confidence. They are like completely different people here. Their self-esteem has gone through the roof! Celebration assembly tomorrow is going to be a great one.”

David Harrison, Learning Mentor at Market Deeping Primary

“We don’t underestimate the importance of these events, because sometimes these children face challenges on a day-to-day basis that we can barely comprehend.”

David Spence, teacher at Bishop Creighton Academy.

“The children are all unique and wonderful in their own ways but this competition means they can all participate and their achievements are celebrated. We’ve never seen anything like it before.”

Carly Pearson, SENCO at Nene Valley Primary, Peterborough

“This has been awesome! Lockdown felt like I was trapped in a cage, but today it feels like the cage door has opened.”

Oscar, 8, Langtoft Primary School, Peterborough

“Many thanks for organising such a fabulous event. We loved every minute of the gala and it was well worth the journey from Bristol and getting up so early. Some of our children went to bed wearing their medals because they were so proud of their achievements.”

Claire Spencer, Associate Head, Elmfield School for Deaf Children

“This is like Christmas for our pupils. It’s the best thing these children have with regards to sporting and life opportunities.”

Adam Miller, Greenways School, Southend

“When the children returned from the Panathlon competition they were on an absolute high and brimming with confidence. We’ve really seen in PE lessons that they are more confident in their own ability and have higher self-esteem.”

Laura Jackson, Head Teacher, All Saints Primary in Humberside
“The children had a blast! Swimming is great for SEN children. Three quarters of our team could not swim at all and needed something like this to gently push their parents into signing them up for swimming lessons. My children and I will be at every single Panathlon event. They wouldn’t get these opportunities without you.”
Wayne Brown, Rosetta Primary School, Newham

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“Being a Young Leader makes me feel like I’ve got the power to do anything. It’s amazing. I love helping at the Panathlons because I can encourage younger kids. When I do that, I’m making people happy and that makes me happy.”

Miriam Skinner, Panathlon’s London Primary Outstanding Young Leader of the Year 2021

“Virtual Panathlon has been terrific for us. It has given us a structure to achieve our aims in PE and sport. The teachers have appreciated it as much as the kids. It’s been invaluable, to be honest.”

Stuart Johnson, PE coordinator at Park Academy in Blackpool

“Last year I took the students to the various Panathlon events around Bolton and was worried that the students wouldn’t get the same enjoyment or sense of achievement with the Virtual Panathlon events being held in school, but they really did.”

Victoria Halliwell, Assistant SEND Learning Director, Ladybridge High School in Bolton

“I loved that all children, whether they won or lost, came away with something. I know from previous experience of attending sports activities that quite often the same children win all events and are always picked to represent the school. This can be something some children find difficult to deal with.”

Deborah Dixon, Beacon Centre PRU, South Shields

“Panathlon’s impact is absolutely massive in terms of enjoyment, social skills, communication and all the benefits that physical activity brings.”

Dawn Wood, Links SSP School Sports Coordinator, Sheffield

“The thing about Panathlon is they are fully inclusive of everybody. Other organisations say that blithely but they don’t really know what it truly means to include every single person. Panathlon can look you in the eye and say they definitely do that.”

Dawn Wood, Links SSP School Sports Coordinator, Sheffield

“The organisation, positive atmosphere from everyone and the world-class venue ensured an unforgettable experience. As one of our pupils said, ‘I feel like I can do anything now!’”

Sonny Young, teacher at Richmond Avenue School in Southend

“The competition gave students a sense of purpose, the chance to be part of a team and promoted sportsmanship and confidence. As a speech and language needs school, it also allowed our students to further improve their communication and social skills.”

Leslie Kojogadogbe, teacher at St Marylebone CE Bridge School in North London

“One of my pupils told me it was the best day of his life. It’s the kind of moment I wish I could bottle!”

Andy Felton, PE Subject Leader at Darlinghurst Academy, Southend

“For us, Panathlons are the stand-out events in our calendar. We’ve struggled to put enough events on for SEN pupils, so it’s crucial to be able to link up with an organisation like Panathlon. If they didn’t exist, to put it bluntly, we would find it very hard to expand our SEN offer.”

Andy Lord, Sports Development Manager at Bury School Sports Partnership

“Panathlon makes you realise as a parent that your child can do so much more and you then want to push them that little bit more. It has made Jack more adventurous and he’s willing to try more things. It has made such an impact on his life and confidence.”

Barbara Greer, mother to Jack Petchey Outstanding Achievement award-winner Jack

“Watching their peers achieve success and win trophies has a big influence on some of our other pupils. It makes them want to try harder themselves, not just in sport but in other aspects of their learning. It is really important to us at Doucecroft that we’re able to be part of Panathlon. It means a lot.”

Louise Parkinson, Head Teacher at Doucecroft School in Colchester