Albert Pye Primary School in Beccles crowned as South East of England Panathlon champions

Albert Pye crowned as Panathlon Challenge South East Primary champions at the Olympic Copper Box Are

Albert Pye crowned as Panathlon Challenge South East Primary champions at the Olympic Copper Box Arena - London. Pictures: Andrew Fosker / Seconds Left Images - Credit: Andrew Fosker / Seconds Left Images

Primary school pupils were all smiles after they were crowned as South East champions.

Albert Pye in action at the Panathlon Challenge - South East Primary Final - Olympic Copper Box Aren

Albert Pye in action at the Panathlon Challenge - South East Primary Final - Olympic Copper Box Arena - London - UK. Picture: Andrew Fosker / Seconds Left Images 2017 - Credit: Andrew Fosker / Seconds Left Ima

Youngsters from Albert Pye Primary School in Beccles secured the South East of England Panathlon title earlier this month at the Olympic Park's Copper Box Arena in London.

The Active Learning Trust primary school beat seven other schools – all of whom had qualified as winners of their area final – to triumph overall.

The Beccles school had secured their place having previously won the north Suffolk region contest.

The Panathlon Challenge is a charity that provides sporting opportunities to young people with additional needs, part of which is setting up inter-school competitions such as the event won by Albert Pye.

Albert Pye in action at the Panathlon Challenge - South East Primary Final - Olympic Copper Box Aren

Albert Pye in action at the Panathlon Challenge - South East Primary Final - Olympic Copper Box Arena - London - UK. Picture: Andrew Fosker / Seconds Left Images 2017 - Credit: Andrew Fosker / Seconds Left Ima


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Children competed in six sports throughout the competition including table cricket, basketball shooting, new-age curling and boccia.

The school has been participating in Panathlon events for two-and-a-half years and is one of the first mainstream schools in Norfolk and Suffolk to do so. The idea came from PE teacher, Stuart McKenzie, who has been leading lunchtime and after-school practice sessions specifically for Panathlon competitions.

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Praising the event and Albert Pye's participating pupils, he said: 'One of the many, many things we love about this competition is that it's not a 'well done you' tap-on-the-head kind of event. Our school is mainstream and pupils have got to eight county finals this year. When we have kids up on stage in assembly on a Friday, this counts as an equally impressive achievement to anything the other pupils have done. They get a cheer from the whole school and everyone knows these medals have been earned, not just handed out for participation.'

Albert Pye headteacher, Melanie Mills, highlighted the impact that Panathlon has had on the pupils. Mrs Mills said: 'I have absolutely loved the enthusiasm of all the children that have participated in Panathlon. For the children with additional needs it's really given them an opportunity to shine. We've also noticed the impact that Panathlon has had on the children's confidence and self-esteem. It's a fantastic programme and I could not be prouder of our children's success.'

In addition to its Panathlon success, Albert Pye has also been nominated for the Suffolk School of the Year award for sport. Of the school's 392 pupils, 80 per cent attend school sports clubs and children are taught regularly about nutrition and the value of a healthy lifestyle.

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