School Games Panathlon 2019-20
On Wednesday 13 November, the first event of the 2019/2020 School Games was held at Marlborough College... the Panathlon!
3 Schools attended and competed in a range of fun challenges including Boccia, long jump, curling and skittles. All activities were inclusive and adapted so all abilities could participate. For example, the use of ramps in activities such as curling and skittles meant that competitors in wheelchairs were able to compete. Tristan from St Nicholas school said his favorite game was the ‘Harlem Hoops’, where he was challenged to score a goal from a range of distances.
Each activity was run by leaders from Marlborough College, who regularly volunteer at Brimble Hill School. They were great motivators and arrived early at the event to assist in setting up and to learn the rules of the activities they were responsible for running.
Ollie, who ran ‘volleybat’, a version of table tennis where the ball must be rolled rather than bounced, said:
"All the activities have been really fun and its great to be able to be part of something which offers these children access to sport as not all facilities may cater for their ability."
Rosie, a Teaching Assistant from Larkrise said:
"The range of activities on offer are great for all abilities and the leaders have been really helpful and friendly. It’s great for the students to have the opportunity to get out of school and into new environments and integrate with other students of all ages and abilities."
Uplands School have been attending the Panathlon event for a number of years and brings a different class each time to ensure as many students can experience the day as possible. This year Kestrel Class competed and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Melissa, a Teaching Assistant from the school said that as well as enjoyment, pupils benefitted from being able to socialize with others, and developed teamwork and listening skills, which are key to supporting their transition into employment. It was great to see leaders interacting with the competitors and congratulating them for their achievements with high-fives, despite being shy initially.
After competing in the different activities pupils competed in running races. These were enjoyed by competitors, leaders, teachers and spectators alike! Hatti, a student from Larkrise said:
"I really enjoyed running because I got to go fast."
As the excitement of the races came to an end, the tension started to build and everyone was nervous to see where they had placed! Everyone cheered as the positions were announced and there were lots of smiling faces when medals were handed out. All competitors received a medal, but it was Larkrise who took home the Gold! In 2nd was Uplands and St Nicholas came in 3rd.
Mel and Willow, who led the bean bag throw, were in agreement that giving competitors their medals was the highlight of the day. Tiggy, a leader responsible for running the Harlem hoops activity, said volunteering at the event was rewarding and she is grateful to have been able to make a difference and be part of the competitors’ opportunity to be involved in sport.
Tony Weymouth, Chief Operating Officer at Panathlon said:
"We are happy to introduce this new event to Wiltshire Schools, the work we have done previously has meant we have a strong base to develop work from. It is exciting that proposed work we have lined up in Partnership with WASP. We look forward to help WASP develop its SEN provision."
Congratulations to all competitors for their achievements and thank you to all the leaders who made the event a success!