• “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
  • 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 London from the 2012 Games.

    Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
  • 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.

    Helen Turner, triple Paralympian wheelchair basketball player and Panathlon patron
  • 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

    Tom Daley
  • The Panathlon Challenge is unique and I hope that many more young people have the opportunity to take part in the future.

    HRH Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward

“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

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“In the first lockdown, we saw how Panathlon rose to the challenge. I was absolutely amazed by the number of resources they sent out for us to distribute to schools and home to parents to really engage children who were missing out. I was so impressed by how Panathlon suddenly pulled out all the stops to offer support.”

Gill Newlyn, Youth Sport Trust’s Essex Inclusion Lead

“We really enjoyed taking part in all of the Virtual Panathlon swimming challenges. It’s something a bit different to their normal structured lesson. It was fresh and exciting and more fun. It was really joyous to watch them get their medals and certificates at the end and seeing their faces light up. They really, really loved it.”

Lisa Inett, swimming instructor at Charlton Park Academy, south east London

“It’s boosted the competitive spirit in the school and encouraged our pupils to really ‘have a go’, which is exactly what I’m trying to achieve. Using your Virtual Panathlon model has really helped build our own framework for how best to engage the pupils in competitive sport across the board.”

Michelle Cook, PE Lead at Dee Banks School in Chester

“Panathlon really changed things for me. It changed the ‘mood’ of sport and what I felt I could do despite my disability.”

Harry Bowtell, former Panathlon Young Leader, now Events Assistant

“I remember counting down the days to my first Panathlon as a Young Leader. I was just past myself with excitement! Once you’ve done Panathlon it becomes part of your life.”

Emily Treweek, Teaching Assistant and former Panathlon Young Leader

“The way that Panathlon organise their events brings the pupils together. They’re well structured, there’s good sportsmanship and it’s presented in a positive, non-threatening way. Our hearing-impaired pupils support each other, it develops their social skills and promotes their self-identity and self-esteem.”

Mina Kaur, Teacher of the Deaf in Darlington

“Our children have very complex needs and disabilities, and one of the things that struck us immediately is that Panathlon was able to offer them an element of competition and challenge. We had a medal ceremony at the end and it really gave us a sense of community and celebration. It felt like a special day.”

Melanie Burrough, Head of Therapy at the Children’s Trust School

“The pandemic was a difficult time for schools – we were bombarded. But Virtual Panathlon was so clear, so precise and easy to follow, and the children’s reaction was just amazing. I got some fantastic feedback from schools who were soon asking for more.”

Gill Newlyn, Youth Sport Trust’s Essex Inclusion Lead

“Virtual Panathlon has revitalised what we do in PE. Sport and PE is a key part of the children achieving and living a fulfilled life. We need to give them opportunities to find out what they’re good at, and this does exactly that.”

Emma Monaghan, Head Teacher at Gillas Lane Primary School in Sunderland

“The Virtual Programme has given a new buzz to the school. The programme shows teachers that it’s easy to teach PE. It’s all there on the Virtual Panathlon YouTube videos and session plans. There’s such a smooth movement through the activities and there’s adaptations throughout. It also meets all their targets in a fun, engaging way.”

David Ball, Movemenet Coordinator at Kingsdown School,Essex

“Panthlon’s Virtual Programme has provided more variety and lots of different options, especially during the times of various Covid restrictions. It has given us ideas for how to use PE resources in a different way. It has given our learners lots of fun, teamwork and a sense of achievement.”

Sarka Viehoff, Heritage House School in Buckinghamshire

“Building up to the Panathlon competitions helps his concentration and focus. It definitely has a knock-on effect on the academic side. Supporting him with his anxieties and difficulties contains many different elements and Panathlon is a crucial piece of the jigsaw.” 

Nina, mum to Doucecroft pupil James Barrett