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I really enjoy Panathlon. It’s a big responsibility representing the school and Birmingham, but I’ve enjoyed it. We practise the sports back at school, so that when it comes to the Panathlon, we’re quite good at them.

Harris Abdullah, aged 13, Birmingham

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

Panathlon gives the children more freedom. At school they are restricted to their schedules, but when they come here there’s more going on. They can go around and observe other things as well as participating themselves.

Aaron Bint, PE teacher at Queensmill School, Hammersmith & Fulham

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.

Rebecca Cavanagh, aged 15, Barking & Dagenham

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.


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.

Simon Ash, a teacher at Mildmay School

When I put on the Panathlon shirt for my team, it feels awesome.

William Ely, aged 19, Bromley

“The Environment is conducive so they feel comfortable, which enables them to perform at their best.”

Ailsa Bell, Freebrough Academy

It feels amazing to be representing the borough. It’s an amazing experience to even be here. We’re so lucky to get this opportunity I think. I really enjoy being part of Panathlon and I think I’d like to be a young Panathlon coach in the future.

Toyin Fabusiwa, aged 15, Croydon

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.

Jo Makumbi, aged 15, West Lea School, Enfield

This is my last Panathlon for the school, it has been a brilliant experience, coming to Panathlon events has changed me as a person, I’ve met new people, been to new places, had life experiences out of school, thank you Panathlon.

Scott Jefferies, Student, New Oscott School

“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!”

Freddie Southern, 13, Moor House

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

We will always support Panathlon, because it is a wonderful thing for the children. The event gives them a great opportunity to compete against their peers.

Dani Smith, B&D Team Manager

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.

Jim Reid, grandfather of Robert Walter, joint winner of the 2014 WNST Primary-Aged Achievers Award

Panathlon gives young people a sense of pride, self-esteem and achievement. You can take that into all aspects of life.

Elaine Burgess, school games organiser for Barking & Dagenham

“They love that they are a team and that they don’t feel judged or compared to any of the other children. They may not be as successful as other children in reading and writing but here their skills are unique to them, which makes them extremely proud. Because they are here as a team, it’s all about them and that’s what they don’t get every day at school. Here they are special but in the very positive and fulfilling sense of the word.”

Sonya Pollington, Eastfield School

For schools to come together like this is great, you don’t get that luxury very often. Social skills are some of the most important things we try and teach them at our school so to see them interact, celebrate when they win and shake hands at the end is spot on

Liam Welch, teacher at Billing Brook School, Northampton

It’s nice for our kids to interact, play sports and socialise with other deaf children. They often play sport with mainstream kids, but Panathlon gives them an opportunity to have their own day, which helps with their identity as a deaf child.

Naomi Thomas, communication support worker at Blanche Nevile School, Haringey

What a brilliant event, we are so pleased to have had this number of schools from across the county involved and starting them up so young into the Panathlon programme

Phil Truby, an Events Officer from Yorkshire Sports Foundation

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

“I’m going to show my medal to my family and tell them how amazing the trip was – and how amazing I am too! It took us a long time to get here, but it’s really been worth it!”

Reece Pidd, 12

“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 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