Date: 3rd December 2015
Venue: Richard Dunn Leisure Centre
LEEDS going for gold!!
SILCs from across the city joined forces to make up the LEEDs Panathlon team to represent the district and compete at the West Yorkshire Key Stage 3-4 Panathlon competition.
Leeds South SILC- Broomfields
Leeds West SILC
Leeds East SILC- Temple Moor
Leeds schools in 'mini Paralympics'
Pupils from Leeds schools joined together at a junior 'mini Paralympics' today, taking part in the Panathlon Challenge Yorkshire West County final and helping to run it.
Teams of disabled pupils from the city's West SILC (Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre), East SILC and South SILC competed across 10 sporting events at the challenge, which was held at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre in Bradford.
Sixth formers from the Leeds West Academy acted as leaders at the event, helping to supervise around 90 youngsters from 14 secondary schools across West Yorkshire. Challenges included boccia, polybat, new age kurling, table cricket, field athletics and relay races.
Helen Holdsworth, School Games Organiser for the Leeds Schools Sports Partnership & Active Schools, said: "We're very much about inclusion and bringing together pupils from the Leeds SILCs to represent their district as a team in a competitive environment.
"The youngsters enjoy meeting other SEND (special educational needs & disabilities) athletes; events like this make them feel less isolated and expose them to the sort of competitive spirit they might not necessarily get at school.
"It's about the enjoyment and fun of being part of a team, but also the huge sense of personal achievement that comes with testing their personal limits. The teachers enjoy it, too. We've already had inquiries about where they can buy the same equipment for their schools."
East SILC pupil Ndaia, 16, said: "I loved the boccia best. I also play it at school, but it was good to play it somewhere new and to have the experience of meeting different people. I like the fact we've joined together with other people to represent Leeds."
Sixth Form BTEC Sport students from Leeds West Academy helped organise the events as part of their coursework to demonstrate their leadership and evaluative skills.
Spencer, 16, said: "It's made me realise far more people can play and enjoy competing in sport than even they possibly realise."
Danica, 18, added: "We can learn something from everyone here. Everyone's so positive about taking part, and seeing their faces light up when they get their medals is really touching."
The Calderdale team emerged as winners at the event and will now go forward to the Panathlon Yorkshire regional final next April.
Panathlon events organiser Howard Nicholls said: "We had lots of children engaged who performed very well. The competition was played in a fantastic spirit. Our thanks go to West Yorkshire Sport for sponsoring the event."
The Panathlon Yorkshire West Challenge is supported by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Jelf Insurance Brokers and West Yorkshire Sport.
Notes for editors:
The Panathlon Foundation (charity no 1072638) has been delivering competitive opportunities for young disabled people since 1999. It has already invested a total of £6m across London and 27 other counties nationwide and will invest more than £500,000 in competitions, sports equipment and coaching for young disabled people in 2015/16.
Panathlon has also trained more than 1,000 young leaders (18% of whom have learning difficulties) on more than 50 official training courses.
Panathlon Challenge competitions are all played with adaptive equipment to open up participation to more people and create a level playing field: Polybat (a variant of table tennis), table cricket (a table-top derivative of cricket), boccia (a Paralympic sport), new age kurling (an indoor derivative of curling), athletics field events and athletics relay races. First place = 10 points; 2nd = 8; 3rd = 6, 4th = 4, with points added up to find the overall winner.
The Panathlon regional finals programme began in 2014 to provide the strongest teams with the opportunity to step up to the next level of competition. Expanded for 2015, this season’s programme will see 24 teams, including 20 county champions, from Hampshire in the South to Gateshead in the North, battle it out as over 400 Panathletes take part in this best-of-the-best competition.
You can find out more about Panathlon in our promotional video featuring our patron Alex Brooker, star of Channel 4’s The Last Leg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO9FB9N7PqY
For more information, please contact:
Tony Waymouth, Panathlon Challenge - 07807 984103 or firstname.lastname@example.org