Merseyside Panathlon Challenge provides inclusive sports for disabled schoolchildren


We were delighted to host the Merseyside Schools Primary Panathlon on 11 March. The event was organised by the Panathlon Challenge – a national charity that provides sporting opportunities to over 5,000 disabled young people a year.

Primary Panathlon events help children to build foundation skills in a range of Panathlon sports – including boccia, polybat, table cricket, football and new age kurling – which use adaptive equipment to increase the number of people who can take part. The day-long event was supported by volunteers from Liverpool John Moores University, Panathlon and Greenbank College, providing an opportunity for everyone to take part.

Jane Johnston, teaching assistant at Brookfields School in Widnes, said:

“The children were really excited about coming today and it’s absolutely brilliant that all of the activities cater for the needs of children with different abilities. It’s excellent that participation is recognised with a certificate and t-shirt for everyone – it’s not just about winning, it’s about taking part.”

The team representing Liverpool – which included pupils from Springwood Heath and Princes School – overcame strong competition from boroughs including Halton, Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral to win the event with a total of 58 points.

However Liverpool were not the only winners on a day that highlighted the importance of providing inclusive sports for everyone.

Gareth Burke, Halton Disability Sports co-ordinator, said:
“An event like this gives children who aren’t necessarily used to being picked first for a team the opportunity to represent their school and their borough, which is a great way to build confidence and self esteem.”