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Cumbria School Games Panathlon Festival 2022

May 26, 2022

The first of two county School Games festivals has taken place at Penrith Leisure Centre.

On Wednesday 25th May over 150 young people attended the Panathlon finals for primary and secondary schools where teams of 6-10 young people per school enjoyed a mix of activities such as Boccia Blast, Flight Path and Parachute Popcorn.

Panathlon is a national charity which gives thousands of young people with disabilities and special educational needs the opportunity to take part in sport.  In the run up to the 25th May over 800 children and young people have taken part in local events, organised by the network of School Games Organisers, with over 150 selected to go forwards to the Panathlon finals in Penrith.

The county event is organised by Active Cumbria, part of Cumbria County Council’s Public Health Team, in partnership with Panathlon.

This was the first time a Panathlon event had been held as part of the Cumbria School Games, a programme designed to keep sport and physical activity at the heart of schools and to provide children and young people opportunities to achieve their personal best and make a clear and meaningful difference to their lives.

Panathlon organiser Tony Waymouth said “What a fantastic day we had celebrating the County Finals for Panathlon in-conjunction with Active Cumbria. The qualifying events held in local areas across the county had seen large numbers participate and allowed SEND children the opportunity to flourish post pandemic restrictions. We look forward to increasing SEND children's wider experiences and being part of this day.”

Active Cumbria Development Officer and Children Young People Lead, Cameron Wilson said “The Cumbria School Games County festivals aim to reach a wide audience of children and young people to engage in positive activity to support their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. We are really enjoyed welcoming everyone to the Panathlon event, the atmosphere was electric. I’d also like to thank our sponsors, namely the Cumberland Building Society and DRS for their on-going support in making these events possible.”

The second School Games county festival will take the form of a multi-sports event at the Sheepmount, Carlisle in July. 

In support of Active Cumbria’s commitment to ‘Kick out Plastic in Sports’, a national campaign which aims to reduce the amount of single use plastics at major sports events, all children and young people attending the School Games festivals received a reusable drinks bottle and water provided to top up regularly throughout the day.