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Testimonials

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

It’s really important that all kids, no matter what their ability level, have the opportunity to compete against other children of similar ability on a fair level. Every child has a right to take part in sporting activity and enter competitions.

Carina Taylor, Head of PE at Chadsgrove School, Bromsgrove

“For them to be competing in the same venue where world-class athletes have performed just swells their pride. Their excitement levels have been through the roof!”

Teacher of the Deaf, Jo Hughes.

This was our first time at Panathlon and it has made our kids realise how much fun they could have and what they could learn. It has been a real eye opener for them!

Julie Markowycz, Lowerhouses Primary

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 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

There are no events for me to go to apart from Panathlon. It’s really good to be here representing my school and my borough. I’m really excited about going to the Olympic Park.

James Feltham, aged 12, Sutton

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

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

We’ve started local events to get as many children competing as possible. We then use those as a selection process for Panathlon, so we’re giving children a stepping stone to representing the borough. It gives them something to strive to and gives an end product to their competitions locally.

Joe Playle, Sport Development Officer, Havering Council

Panathlon builds up these students’ confidence. They can see that they can achieve well, they meet other people and they make friends, so it’s very good for their confidence and independence.

Robert Zawislak, Head of PE at West Lea School, Enfield

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

Watching Tom Daley before was just awesome. I love Panathlon because when I get frustrated or angry, it makes me feel free just to run or swim and forget everything else.

Melissa Fletcher, aged 16, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

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

In terms of offer for disabled children, Panathlon is the strongest example of how to run an event that is exciting, enjoyable and challenging but brings wide benefits as well as the activity. It’s a model that’s needed throughout the country, there’s no doubt.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive of the English Federation of Disability Sport

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

The kids love it. They really enjoy Panathlon and, being in a mainstream school, they really appreciate getting these opportunities. It’s really important.

Liz Johnson, teacher at Riddlesdown School, Croydon

The most important thing here is that the children get to participate in a competitive event which has rules that you have to play within, but offers the opportunity to be successful no matter how good you are at it.

Paul Searle, teacher at Brimble Hill School, Swindon, Wilts.

Panathlon is very important to us at Swiss Cottage School. They feel like stars when they are taking part and the school is really proud of them. It gives them a lot of confidence and they start to believe in themselves. I think it’s a great experience for them.

Anna Kwasniak, teacher at Swiss Cottage School, Camden

“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

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

We’ve got kids here today from all different year groups who don’t normally mix together, but here they are all one team and are working well together. The camaraderie in the team is great.

Kevin Hughes, Assistant Head of PE at Arbour Vale School, Slough

Most of our students don’t get chance to take part in activities like this outside of school, so this sort of thing is invaluable.

Sally Proctor, teacher at Heritage House, Chesham

What a fantastic event. The atmosphere throughout was one of encouragement and support. All the young people swam incredibly well and loved competing in this type of environment.

Stuart Johnson, The Park School of Blackpool, Team Manager