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.
We’re completely sold on Panathlon. It’s spread like a very positive wave and ripple through the whole school and the whole curriculum.
Our strong team culture has impacted into school – behaviour has improved, relationships developed, a sense of achieving can be found in all areas of the school.
Panathlon’s great. You can see children with all sorts of disabilities and abilities, so it’s very inclusive. Sport goes across so many different aspects of life that it’s just very important for them now and when they leave school.
We’ve got lots of smiling children. It’s fantastic because it links with a lot of the class curriculum at the moment which is around the Olympics. It gives them a great sense of wider achievement. It’s been a really positive experience for them.
“We’ve got more less-able pupils here now than in previous years. They simply don’t have the skills or athleticism to take part in tennis or football, but they can all access kurling or boccia – that’s the beauty of it. It enables all of our pupils to participate. Panathlon has enabled us to provide a much broader curriculum and range of sports, especially for more physically disabled children in wheelchairs. It has enriched our school provision greatly.”
Panathlon is about everyone being equal and able to play. So many people get the chance to play. The experience for our kids is really positive. It’s just brilliant.
Panathlon is proving so popular that even able-bodied children are wanting to get involved now!
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.
What an amazing day and a real joy to be part of it. I can’t believe it the kids can’t believe it. I thought the atmosphere in the hall was super and team spirit was in abundance.
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.
“Our GCSE PE students have been leaders at quite a few Panathlon events now and throw themselves into it every time. They develop their communication and leadership skills and they thoroughly enjoy working with children. They absolutely jump at this opportunity.”
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.
“We had no air conditioning in our minibus and we stayed in a hostel last night and for some reason the heating was on full-blast – but it’s all been worth it! It means so much to them. They’ve worked really, really hard. It’s a great opportunity for them to show what they can do and they won’t get opportunities like this back at home. They are all in awe of this venue! It really boosts their self-esteem and once they build up their confidence here it gives them that boost to join their local pool or club. Just because they’ve got disabilities it doesn’t mean they can’t spread their wings and do other things. This will give the confidence to do so.”
Some of the kids here today hardly take part in any sport at all, only boccia, so this gives them a great chance to get involved.
Panathlon is good for us because it caters for those kids who don’t have much opportunity. It means every child gets to take part in a competition outside of school. It’s a privilege to be here and the kids love it.
I amazed how well all teams worked together, they truly showed what the meaning of a ‘team’ is.
This is the highlight of the year for us. Football at Wembley? It doesn’t get much better than that. Our kids love it.
Panathlon gives us the opportunity to take part in competitive sport with children who otherwise wouldn’t be able to. It’s one of the rare opportunities available where they can compete with people with similar abilities and disabilities to them. For most of them, this is the pinnacle of their careers really, so long live Panathlon!
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.
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.
Panathlon means everything to the kids. There’s nothing else for them where they can compete at sport, so it means the world to them. If it wasn’t for Panathlon they wouldn’t be competing.
Panathlon for us is about getting the children out in the community, engaging with other people from different schools, competing, working on leadership and teamwork, but mostly just having fun.
For our kids Panathlon is the absolute highlight of the year. When we get back to school all of the kids will be there to greet them like returning heroes, like Olympians getting off the plane. It’s brilliant.
A lot of kids don’t get the opportunity to represent their county even in a mainstream school, let alone a special school. For some of these kids, this could be the peak of where they get to in sport, so what a great event. They are overwhelmed and think it’s absolutely incredible. That’s what it’s all about.