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 London from the 2012 Games.
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. There is no other organisation that puts on something this inclusive and this competitive. It’s completely unique and I love it.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Woodfield School enjoy Panathlons of all descriptions, so we will always do our best to attend, whenever, wherever!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s a good experience. People can’t always get out and do active things but this helps bring people together and make friends.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.