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 really enjoy Panathlon. It’s a big responsibility representing the school and Birmingham, but I’ve enjoyed it. We practise the sports back at school, so that when it comes to the Panathlon, we’re quite good at them.
Lillie had no confidence in the water, but today she amazed us, the activities made it so inclusive and the all the children surprised us what they could do, today gave children at Norfolk Primary a chance to shine.
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.
I’m so excited to be going to the Copper Box. It’s a big honour. When I get older I want to be in the Paralympics and it feels like I’m one step closer to that dream.
At the end of a Panathlon event I feel like it’s a big achievement for me, because I can’t really do many sports. This is one I can do, and I love it.
The children were all so nervous, as they aren’t confident in the water. The structure of the events means they can compete. They all supported one another and every-one of them was glad to have had this experience and again compete in a competition with their peers. Thanks for accommodating my pupil with medical needs, this is something Panathlon does really well and yesterday was no exception, both she and her parents thought the day was perfect.
When I put on the Panathlon shirt for my team, it feels awesome.
“The Environment is conducive so they feel comfortable, which enables them to perform at their best.”
It feels amazing to be representing the borough. It’s an amazing experience to even be here. We’re so lucky to get this opportunity I think. I really enjoy being part of Panathlon and I think I’d like to be a young Panathlon coach in the future.
Panathlon is brilliant. I’ve been coming here since the age of nine and enjoy it every year. I take part in the wheelchair slalom and the relay races. I love racing against others.
This is my last Panathlon for the school, it has been a brilliant experience, coming to Panathlon events has changed me as a person, I’ve met new people, been to new places, had life experiences out of school, thank you Panathlon.
“That was amazing! Out of 11 other schools, in fact out of the whole country, we are the champions! I am pretty impressed with myself. I can’t put it into words!”
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.
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’s great for the kids to have the opportunity to take part in sport. When I was a kid you would never have got anything like Panathlon. It’s only right that they get a crack at sport the same as any other kid. Sport is great for him.
Panathlon gives young people a sense of pride, self-esteem and achievement. You can take that into all aspects of life.
“They love that they are a team and that they don’t feel judged or compared to any of the other children. They may not be as successful as other children in reading and writing but here their skills are unique to them, which makes them extremely proud. Because they are here as a team, it’s all about them and that’s what they don’t get every day at school. Here they are special but in the very positive and fulfilling sense of the word.”
For schools to come together like this is great, you don’t get that luxury very often. Social skills are some of the most important things we try and teach them at our school so to see them interact, celebrate when they win and shake hands at the end is spot on
It’s nice for our kids to interact, play sports and socialise with other deaf children. They often play sport with mainstream kids, but Panathlon gives them an opportunity to have their own day, which helps with their identity as a deaf child.
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
A lot of these guys have quite challenging behaviour in lessons, but having the Panathlon Football Finals to look forward to helps them enormously. Being here is amazing for them and they absolutely love it. A lot of them find it difficult to maintain relationships with their peers, but it seems like when they’re out on the pitch they have a shared goal and you don’t see the same sort of outbursts.
“I’m going to show my medal to my family and tell them how amazing the trip was – and how amazing I am too! It took us a long time to get here, but it’s really been worth it!”
“We’ve done three Panathlon events now and these guys have been such a close-knit team throughout the rounds. They had never even spoken to each other before, but this has brought them all together and they’re never apart now. Panathlon is such a blessing, it really is, It has been a real journey for all of them. I would feel terrible if these kids couldn’t take advantage of this opportunity. A lot of mainstream school, yes, it’s inclusive, but it’s very hard for them to actually get involved. This is totally different and it’s why they love it so much.”
I love competing against other schools as it’s great to meet new people. We’re over the moon and amazed to be going to the Olympic Park.