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Testimonials

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

There isn’t sport for all of our children at this level. We have a few students who do competitive sports with the mainstream children but, without Panathlon, there wouldn’t be a chance for the other kids to take part in competition.

Susanna Sutton, teacher at Mabel Prichard School, Oxford

It feels like heaven, this is what pure enjoyment feels like, It being Columbus’s first every victory just makes it that more sweet.

Gabriel Ellis, captain of the Columbus team

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.

Norfolk Primary Parent, Natalie Mitchell

Today gives children confidence and it’s wonderful for their self-esteem. This is their first time in a swimming gala and it gives them a brand new experience in an amazing place like this.

Rebecca Taylor, Doncaster School for the Deaf

This place is really fantastic. I swam so fast I was like a machine! When I finish I just feel so confident, happy and proud.

Freddy Leech, aged 14, Enfield

This has been brilliant experience for the children. We have really enjoyed competing in the Primary Panathlon over the past two years, and now that there is another opportunity for them to compete it’s all extremely exciting.

Julie, Teacher Hempsted Primary School

I always thought that I wasn’t the sporty kind and wouldn’t be good at sport, but I got selected for Panathlon and, as I’ve got older, I’ve realised that I’m quite good at it and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s great to know that sport is available for everyone.

Zahra Naqvi, aged 13, Milton Keynes, Bucks

This is one of the best experiences of my life. My favourite is the table top cricket because you get to really smash the ball. Panathlon has lifted my confidence and skills.

James Cole, aged 17, Barking and Dagenham

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.

Riley Kane, aged 11, Lowestoft, Suffolk

I enjoy coming out to Panathlon. I like the atmosphere of it all. It’s very loud – you can’t hear yourself think! There’s a lot of responsibility to be representing Worcestershire, but it feels good.

Grace Kempson, aged 15, Bromsgrove

Some of the kids here today hardly take part in any sport at all, only boccia, so this gives them a great chance to get involved.

Val Harnett, Enfield team manager and teacher at West Lea School

“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.”

Mitchell, Pupil at Warren School

I’ve had the best day ever. I can’t wait to go home and tell my mum all about it and show her my medals.

Pupil at Albert Pye Primary School, Beccles

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.

Brandon Mullins, Head of PE at Beacon Hill Academy, Essex

This is a wonderful day, encouraging a great deal of social interaction. This is such an important aspect of the language resource of learning. Thank you so much for all your hard work in making Panathlon competitions happen.

Karen Pincott, Inclusion Manager at Mead Primary School, Havering

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.

Christie Moloney, Sports Development Officer at Ealing Council

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.

Max Ross, aged 16, Bury St Edmunds

“I’m going to go home and wave this medal in my brother’s face, because he’s never won a medal! I really like the water – it makes me feel happy. It’s amazing to be here because if you think about it, Tom Daley has been in this very same pool, so it’s extra special.”

Bailey Ison, Egerton Rothesay School

“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.”

Adam Alli, Rhodes Avenue School

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

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

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.

Danielle, Islington

There aren’t usually many opportunities for these children, particularly those in wheelchairs, but Panathlon provides quite a big range of sports for them to do. It also helps develop life skills, their behaviour and social skills.

Robert Zawistak, teacher at West Lea School, Enfield