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We at St Catherines give the SEN children lessons on a weekly basis, however we have never been able to put lessons into practice and this is the first time we have been able to compete in a competition. This has been such an experience for the students.

St Catherines, Sheffield

The need for Panathlon in Barking and Dagenham is huge. We always have teams and all the teachers see these activities as a way of engaging their students in competitive physical activity and it’s fantastic because everyone who attends seems to get ideas and give brilliant feedback.

Warren School, Barking & Dagenham

“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.”

Wendy Gibbons, Teaching Assistant – Ardleigh Green School

Panathlon is good for us because it caters for those kids who don’t have much opportunity. It means every child gets to take part in a competition outside of school. It’s a privilege to be here and the kids love it.

Kamil Hajdrych, PE coordinator at Stormont House School, Hackney

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.

Janine Edwards, teaching assistant at Whitmore High School, Harrow

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.

Jeremy Lonsdale, Greenacre’s PE Lead

I’m the only pupil on the Panathlon team from my school, so it’s a great opportunity to have fun and meet other people.

Jamie Keat, aged 10, Hammersmith & Fulham

Woodfield School enjoy Panathlons of all descriptions, so we will always do our best to attend, whenever, wherever!

Woodfield School, Herts

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.

Lee Puckrin, teacher at Priory Woods School, Middlesbrough

The biggest thing our youngsters get out of it is a lot of confidence and the experience of achieving success as a team. We really welcome the competitive element of this event. Whether they are winning or losing, it is a great experience and teaches them what they need to practise, and the importance of it

Brandon Mullin, head of PE at Beacon Hill Academy

I feel like a real sportsman doing wheelchair slalom. Panathlon is great because it’s only disabled people that can take part and I got near my personal best today.

Reece, Barking & Dagenham

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.

Ahmet Arnavut, aged 18, Bromley

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.

Richard Brown, Teacher at Cricket Green

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.

Stuart Johnson, The Park School of Blackpool, Team Manager

Before I started Panathlon, I wouldn’t even go away from home on my own, but now I’ll do it easily. Panathlon has made me feel a lot more confident. I think it’s brilliant.

Georgina Hart, aged 15, Barking & Dagenham

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.

Toyin Fabusiwa, aged 16, Croydon

It’s a good experience. People can’t always get out and do active things but this helps bring people together and make friends.

Mia Paton, aged 15, Islington
We have seen students taking part who normally would not like to venture out of school, it has developed their confidence, self esteem and physical / sporting skills by being a valued team member of Panathlon activities. Our students have gained many social and communication skills through mixing with other schools at the events.
Waverley School Enfield London

Panathlon is about everyone being equal and able to play. So many people get the chance to play. The experience for our kids is really positive. It’s just brilliant.

Lauren Hastings, PE teacher at Marjorie McClure School, Bromley

This is our favourite competition every year. We came two years ago for the first time and it’s just so perfectly pitched for our children that we are trying to involve as many students from our school as possible, so that they can all gain what we feel is invaluable experience.

Hempsted School, Glos

The legacy from last year is that these kids are more confident about getting involved. It gives them an opportunity they didn’t have before. For them, getting into a team and being successful in a competition is something that just wasn’t there for them. Panathlon has given them that opportunity. Now that Panathlon and extra-curricular clubs are so embedded throughout our school, it has really improved the children’s skillset.

Barr View School, Birmingham

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!

Charlotte Whale, aged 19, Ashford, Kent

Panathlon helps beyond the sporting field. The children know they’ve got something to work for, so their behaviour improves and it motivates them in the classroom too, because they know if they do work in class they get to come and take part in events like this.

Cherie Lashmar, PE teacher at Columbus School, Chelmsford

It’s been amazing, it’s brought them really together as a team, they’ve enjoyed working together, it’s a good lesson on sportsmanship and learning that it’s all about taking part. It means a lot for the school to be able to take part in a much bigger event, than just what the school can provide. It’s very special.

Jess Russell, sports coordinator at Paddock School, Wandsworth