Four early-season Panathlon Primary Finals up and down the country involved 236 students with disabilities and special needs representing their schools in competitive sport. Read on for a full round-up.
Worcestershire County Primary Finals
Kingfisher School from Redditch won the inaugural Worcestershire Primary Panathlon held at Stourport High School on October 4. Twenty-eight children from Kingfisher, Chadsgrove and Pitcher Oak schools participated in their first ever Panathlon competition.
The event was co-ordinated by Panathlon and Carina Taylor, Inclusion Schools lead in Worcestershire and Head of PE at Chadgrove School.
Carina reflected: “They’re all working as a team, developing their communication skills and having fun alongside other children with special needs. It’s all about being part of a team and being competitive. It’s not necessarily about winning; it’s taking part in a competitive situation. Having a challenge is really important to them.”
Stourport High School provided 16 students from years eight and nine to act as Sports Leaders, some of whom were new to the role. They ensured that the pupils were able to perform at their best and learn how able the children were.
Results: 1. Kingfisher 23, 2. Pitcher Oak 16, 3. Chadsgrove 15
Hillingdon Primary Panathlon
Students with disabilities from 13 local schools competed in the second Hillingdon Primary Panathlon competition, totalling 90 students in all.
With 52 new competitors and the remaining students attending for a second year, the competition is becoming an integral part of the school sport calendar in the borough.
“Back in 2016, the same competition involved 66 students and so the increase in participation shows the demand for this activity,” said Hillingdon School Games Organiser, Becci Cooke.
Hillingdon Primary, who were crowned champions, will now represent the Borough at the London Finals to be held at the Copper Box Arena at the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park in 2018. Second-placed Hayes Park will go in to the Plate Championships.
Sue Ryman, a teacher at Hayes, said: “The chance to regularly compete is really important. The games have given the children a brilliant taster for competition and now we can go away, practise in PE and then get ready for the next event in February! It will give the children a real focus, which is so important.”
Havering Primary Panathlon
Record numbers competed in Havering on October 18 at Romford YMCA – 88 students and 14 leaders were present, with 12 schools in total taking part.
Havering SGO Michelle Gustavsen said: “In 2016 the competition involved 53 students so it’s great to have more students here, but I’m really pleased that we’ve engaged four new schools. The enthusiasm for the events is clear and I’ve been speaking to teachers who have been asking where they can purchase the equipment – so it’s all really positive moving forwards because it looks like the schools are going away with fresh ideas and intention to continue in school.”
An incredibly closely-fought competition saw last year’s winners Harold Wood finish third, the silver medals went to Hylands, and a combined team of Scargill and Ardleigh Green picked up gold.
Nicola Simmons, teacher at Harold Woods, said: “Last year we had the chance to compete at the London Finals and it was such an amazing experience for our students. Although we managed bronze today, we’ve been able to bring some new team members and it’s been lovely to see the ‘experienced’ students take them under their wing and explain what the day is all about. A big thank you to Panathlon for another brilliantly organised event.”
Scarborough Primary Panathlon
Thirty young people competed in the Scarborough Primary competition at Scarborough Rugby Football Club on October 30, the first of four Primary Panathlons in North Yorkshire this year.
The results were:
1. Springhead 27
2. Pickering/Sinnington 24
3. Welburn Hall 19
4. Woodlands 10
Springhead will now go on to represent the area at the Level 3 School Games Panathlon Finals on Sunday July 8 at Queen Margaret’s School in Escrick.
Lady Lumley’s School from Pickering provided some fantastic Young Leaders who excelled in their roles.
A big thank you to Hays Travel Foundation for their support of the Primary Panathlon.