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.
I have really enjoyed it today and it’s nice to play against people from other schools. It’s the teamwork I love. It means the world to me. I really love Panathlon
I’m shocked. I’ve never won anything before. I’m proud to do this with my mates. I am over the moon.
Without Panathlon, McKenzie Wouldn’t have had the opportunity to represent his school in any sporting event. Panathlon has made him enjoy sport and accept that he and others can achieve through sport.
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.
The kids love it. They really enjoy Panathlon and, being in a mainstream school, they really appreciate getting these opportunities. It’s really important.
The children were all so nervous, as they aren’t confident in the water. The structure of the events means they can compete. They all supported one another and every-one of them was glad to have had this experience and again compete in a competition with their peers. Thanks for accommodating my pupil with medical needs, this is something Panathlon does really well and yesterday was no exception, both she and her parents thought the day was perfect.
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.
Just having the opportunity to compete against students from different parts of the country is amazing. Panathlon can’t support us enough.
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.
We have a very small unit at school, so for the children to mix and meet others with hearing impairments was the first opportunity that they have had. They had a wonderful day.
“That was amazing! Out of 11 other schools, in fact out of the whole country, we are the champions! I am pretty impressed with myself. I can’t put it into words!”
One of our children said it was the first time he’d ever won anything in sport.
“This is an experience that they don’t usually get at all. It’s great for them to be somewhere where they know Olympic and Paralympic athletes have competed and it gives them a huge sense of achievement.”
It gave them an opportunity to excel in a world that they otherwise find difficult. Giving them confidence and pleasure. I thought it was brilliant that parents were allowed to come and watch. It gave the children a real sense of pride – especially when they won. It also gave an opportunity for the children and parents to really share something at home, hopefully supporting great and positive communication.
Panathlon is brilliant. I’ve been coming here since the age of nine and enjoy it every year. I take part in the wheelchair slalom and the relay races. I love racing against others.
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.
“I have so enjoyed making friends in other schools and academies. Panathlon has been really good for our school and has helped us so much. I love the water and the venue is just amazing. I have my Panathlon medals in a safe box at home. I am going to keep them and show my grandchildren!”
“Panathlon gives my pupils with severe learning difficulties a sense of belonging. It’s such an amazing opportunity, it gives them an immense sense of achievement. They get huge attention and praise from their peers back at school for it and it inspires the younger ones to join in when they’re a bit older. When they compete at school in sport it’s more fun-based and against their own peers but when they go out of school to places like this they learn about what it means to be competitive. The kids really respond to that. It’s been a long trip but it’s been so worth it.”
Panathlon is important to us. We run our own festivals and various SEN clubs, but this gives us a competitive outlet; something to work towards. It’s great for the kids.
Panathlon gives disabled children something which they can achieve for themselves. They all want to do Panathlon.
“We had a heroes’ reception back at school, Panathlon really boosted their confidence. We’ve got primary swimmers now hoping to follow in their footsteps. It just does wonders for their self-esteem.”
We’re a mainstream school so these kids would normally get very little opportunity to play for their school teams, so Panathlon is great for their self-esteem and confidence.
The event was brilliant! The organisation, the staff and supporting students were really helpful and friendly. The venue was ideal and the activities were spot on for the kids in my group. The children had a great time and came back to school beaming. This was their first chance to take part in a sports competition and they loved the medals, certificates and t-shirts. Their confidence levels rose throughout the day – both physically and emotionally.
We’re completely sold on Panathlon. It’s spread like a very positive wave and ripple through the whole school and the whole curriculum.