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.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
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.
Liz Johnson, Paralympic swimming champion and Panathlon ambassador
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
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.
Alex Brooker, star of Channel 4’s ‘The Last Leg’ and Panathlon Patron
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.
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, multi-Paralympic gold medallist
Panathlon helps with the kids’ independence and helps them socially, meeting other children from other schools and just giving them a bit of experience of life outside of school.
Judy Wells, teaching assistant, Fairfax School, Birmingham
PE is so important in our school and the benefits of events like Panathlon extend well beyond the day itself. No matter what the disability, no matter how severe or mild, they are all here competing and as one. It’s incredible.
Troy Gering, PE coordinator at Phoenix School, Tower Hamlets
Prior to being involved in Panathlon, all we could do was what we did on site at school with our own kids. We weren’t involved in competition with other schools, so this is fantastic.
Caroline Wells, Director of Doucecroft School Services, Colchester
The school holds its own Panathlon sports events with Queen Victoria School which Panathlon organises for us. Panathlon meets and caters for the needs of all our pupils and it’s great to access such well organised and appropriately arranged events.
Cherry Oak School, Birmingham
There’s so much benefit to being chosen for a school team, especially for these young ones who don’t get to be in the football or netball team. Children who haven’t succeeded at anything before are succeeding here. I go to loads of sports competitions with our children but none are as rewarding as this.
St. Polycarps School, Surrey
Another brilliantly organised event. Panathlon is great for all abilities, which is why we come back to compete every year in these competitions.
Wilson Stuart School Birmingham
We’ve been to a few events in the past and she is usually the only student in a powerchair, so to come here today where she can compete against other students on a fair playing field is fantastic.
Caroline Rose, mother of Ella, a Year Four student from Barnet
“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!”
Sammy Farrant, Priory School
Panathlon helps with the kids’ independence and helps them socially, meeting other children from other schools and just giving them a bit of experience of life outside of school. Plus life is one big competition.
Judy Wells, teaching assistant, Fairfax School.
It’s brilliant,” he said. “I’m very proud of myself and I had a good time with my team – we won the West Midlands final! I look forward to showing off the medals to the headteacher and everyone at school.
Harris Abdullah – Hall Green School
They sometimes live in quite isolated worlds, but being able to interact with other deaf children is a great experience for them. It helps them understand they are one small part of a big world.
Royal School for the Deaf, Derby
“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.”
Deputy Head of Great Arley, Amanda Johnstone
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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
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
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.
Beki Stoiber, teacher at Park Hill
It’s nice to meet new people from other schools. I enjoy school, but this is a good opportunity to come out and take part. It feels good to be representing the school.
Callum MacDonald, aged 14, Croydon
We are overjoyed to have had such success at this gala. The whole event has had such a marvellous atmosphere. We thank the Panathlon Foundation for supporting disabled children in Suffolk and giving them a chance to compete.
Northgate High School, Ipswich
I am pleased with how today has gone. I felt I had done well and it was great to be cheered on by all the other teams as well as my own team-mates. It was a really nice atmosphere and a great day to be part of.
Brandon Morris, aged 17, South Ockendon, Essex
Panathlon is the one outlet for SEN swimming that enables children to test their skills in the water. Many aspects of the gala also link with the ‘ Development’ sections under the Ofsted framework.
Northfields School Stockton on Tees
Panathlon is about breaking down barriers and our students all absolutely love it. These kinds of sporting opportunities are difficult to come by, so when Panathlon suggested we took part, we jumped at the chance.
Treetops School, Essex.
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.
We absolutely love Panathlon. It’s brilliant for us as a mainstream school, because our more able-bodied students get involved with our disabled students and they play games together, so there’s a really nice crossover.
Mark Simmons, lead teaching assistant (disabled and medical) at Myton School, Warwick
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
“Panathlon is having a massive effect on all the competing schools because the standard is getting higher, schools are putting more resources into training and kids are getting so motivated.”