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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

The Panathlon events have given our children opportunities to participate in sporting events they wouldn’t normally have. Our children gained so much from taking part in the recent bowling event; some had not even experienced ten pin bowling previously and you could tell from their smiles and laughter upon returning how much they had enjoyed the experience.

Gibside School, Gateshead

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

Our school benefits from the Panathlon events because they give our pupils meaningful competition that is accessible to all abilities. All Panathlon events we have attended have been flexibility to tailor activities to the needs of our group so we can maximise pupil engagement.

Fox Wood School, Warrington

We are really lucky to have this Panathlon ‘resource’ which benefits our children so immensely. For them to be competing in the same venue where world-class athletes have performed just swells their pride.

Rushmere Hall, Ipswich

Our children couldn’t wait to get back to school and show all the children and teachers their trophies and medals. They walked around the school like the champions they are and that is all thanks to the Panathlon event and the organisers.

Southwood School, Barking & Dagenham London

We really value the Panathlon Challenge in the borough. Students from seven secondary schools make up the team. It is one of the most important events that we take part in every year. It’s a fantastic experience for all the children and year-on-year we strive to get better.

Elaine Burgess, partnership development manager for Barking & Dagenham

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.

Georgina Hart, aged 15, Barking & Dagenham

They’re a great little team. The day after a Panathlon you see them walking round the school with the medals around their necks looking so proud. They’re absolutely buzzing.

Lewis Sharpe, teacher at Kettlethorpe School

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.

Jane Campbell, teacher at Great Baddow School

You just can’t buy this: the competition, the interaction, the fulfilment the children get from it and, of course, their smiles!

St. James’s Place volunteer Jon Ellis

Thank you for hosting such a fantastic event. It was superbly well organised and had a lovely positive feel to the whole day. It was excellent experience for the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Felixstowe Academy

Panathlon gives us all a break from our normal day-to-day lives and it’s really competitive, which a lot of disabled people don’t get. It’s really important that everyone gets the chance to play sport. It helps people let off steam. When they get frustrated or wound-up, it means they can relax. It’s really good.

Sally McNeil, aged 16, Thurrock

Our kids just love the competitive spirit of Panathlon. There’s great sportsmanship here and they take part in every event with lots of enthusiasm. It’s wonderful.

Warren Marriott, upper school PE coordinator at Perseid School, Merton

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.

Toyin Fabusiwa, aged 16, Croydon

The impact of Panathlon on our school has been massive, two and a half years ago, some of our children with various needs were simply not accessing competitive sports activities at all. Panathlon has opened up so many opportunities and really helps our kids to strive to be their very best.

Burnham on Crouch School, Essex

We’ve never represented the county in anything before, so that’s great. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students.

Brianne Hogg, PE co-ordinator at Riverwalk School, Bury
We have seen students taking part who normally would not like to venture out of school, it has developed their confidence, self esteem and physical / sporting skills by being a valued team member of Panathlon activities. Our students have gained many social and communication skills through mixing with other schools at the events.
Waverley School Enfield London

Today has really inspired the children to want to carry on swimming. They feel super proud knowing that they did the best for themselves but also their team. The feeling of, ‘Are we actually here and doing it ?’ resonated through everyone.

Towers Junior School, Havering.

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

“This morning they were so excited – I can’t even begin to describe it! There was a town crier on the train and he rang his bell to announce we were competing here to the whole platform!”

Sue Brown, Beckers Green

Panathlon is mega for our school. It’s very important that everyone gets the chance to play sport. It’s all about equal opportunities isn’t it? It’s great for the kids to show what they are able to do.

Cally Knight, special needs support assistant at Hounslow Heath School, Hounslow

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

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