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.
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.
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!
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!
“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.”
Panathlon is pretty much the only competition these kids have. A lot of them don’t have the option for sports outside of school. Having this big tournament is really the only time they can access all of these sports in one place. It’s very rare and it’s very good.
The structure was brilliant. The format was for the kids. Usually we are tagged on to some event. Thus we don’t compete that often. This was the opposite. It was for the children and the children responded brilliantly having an event for them.
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.
The kids love it. They really enjoy Panathlon and, being in a mainstream school, they really appreciate getting these opportunities. It’s really important.
Panathlon works really well, particularly for our students with severe learning difficulties. It also helps us go back to school with some fresh ideas for the students.
On behalf of our children at Girlington Primary School for a fantastic Panathlon experience. The activities were well thought through, taking into consideration a variety of disabilities. Our children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and memories were made. The whole event ran like clockwork which added to the enjoyment. We are already looking forward to next year.
“Our GCSE PE students have been leaders at quite a few Panathlon events now and throw themselves into it every time. They develop their communication and leadership skills and they thoroughly enjoy working with children. They absolutely jump at this opportunity.”
I don’t think there’s any better way for the kids to develop their confidence. I’ve seen them develop from shy, retiring children to really confident young men and women. It’s life-changing.
Our children aren’t involved in deaf activities other than through Panathlon. This competition means that all of our children can join in with something and everyone’s had a chance.
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.
Panathlon offers the most even playing field. It’s the one competition that caters for students of lower ability. It’s imperative that they get the opportunity to compete for their school and their borough. I love the ethos of the event and the competition.
My favourite things about today were the races, the medals and the freedom. I felt fresh, healthy and free in the pool. The ball race was my favourite.
“It means everything for them to be here, It gives them so much more confidence just to be part of a team. They see other children representing the school and our children are so excited to get that chance now too. They often see the other children go off in their football kits, so even the fact they’re wearing the same shirts here and representing the school is marvellous. They definitely wouldn’t get this anywhere else. They’ll be wearing their t-shirts and medals tomorrow in school all day long.”
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.
I’ve never really done this sort of thing before. It’s my first time in a swimming competition and it’s been pretty amazing.
Panathlon is great because it allows more children the chance to join in and compete. It’s an event that doesn’t focus on their disabilities, but on what they are able to do. It levels the playing field and the children are all enjoying themselves today. It’s fantastic.
Another amazing time at the Panathlon Games. Sam loves the teamwork with children from other schools in events such as this. Socially, it gives Sam the confidence to compete and interact with others with a range of abilities. He looks forward to these events for weeks beforehand and is always keen to know when the next one will be.
The thing that we like about Panathlon the most, and our staff and parents always comment on, is that Panathlon levels the playing field. That’s the key for them to be able to perform equally against their peers.
Panathlon gives young people a sense of pride, self-esteem and achievement. You can take that into all aspects of life.