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Testimonials

We’re completely sold on Panathlon. It’s spread like a very positive wave and ripple through the whole school and the whole curriculum.

Guy Wilkins, teacher at Marjorie McClure Special School, Chilslehurst, Bromley

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.

Lucas Neocleous, football coach, Haringey

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.

Mark Boorman, teacher at Drumbeat School, Lewisham

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.

Sarah Beck, Teacher at Woodland School, Harrow

“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.”

Sherwood Park Deputy Headteacher Sue Fergusson

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.

Lauren Hastings, PE teacher at Marjorie McClure School, Bromley

Panathlon is proving so popular that even able-bodied children are wanting to get involved now!

Lorraine Veck, Disability Sports Co-ordinator at Coteford Junior School, Hillingdon

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.

Steve Peaty, Newham team manager

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.

Samuel Wade, teacher at Knowleswood, Bradford

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

“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.”

Chessington’s PE teacher, Mr Lucas

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

“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.”

Sam Thompson, The Forest School

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.

Val Harnett, Enfield team manager and teacher at West Lea School

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.

Kamil Hajdrych, PE coordinator at Stormont House School, Hackney

I amazed how well all teams worked together, they truly showed what the meaning of a ‘team’ is.

Reece Goldie, Leader from Accrington Academy

This is the highlight of the year for us. Football at Wembley? It doesn’t get much better than that. Our kids love it.

Chris Chapman, PE teacher at Cricket Green School, Merton

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!

Fiona Bell, teacher at St Giles School, Croydon

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.

Joy Pollard, teacher at Hawthorn Primary School, Birmingham

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 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.

Janine Edwards, teaching assistant at Whitmore High School, Harrow

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.

Dan O’Brien, teacher at Woodfield School, Brent

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.

Richard Brown, teacher at Cricket Green School, Merton

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.

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