Budding athletes shine at Panathlon event in Lowestoft

The winning team from Ormiston Denes Academy.

The winning team from Ormiston Denes Academy. - Credit: Archant

New friendships were made as more than 100 young athletes came together to compete in two disability sport finals in Lowestoft.

The Panathlon event was held at Waterlane Leisure Centre. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The Panathlon event was held at Waterlane Leisure Centre. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Students from eight schools took part in the Panathlon North Suffolk Multisports Finals at Waterlane Leisure Centre last Wednesday.

Ormiston Denes Academy won the pan-disabled contest while the John Grant School, from Caister, were champions of the physically-disabled event.

A number of sports were played throughout the day – using adaptive equipment to enable more people to take part.

Table Cricket, Boccia, New Age Kurling, Polybat – a variant of table tennis – and running races were on the cards for the children.

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Since 1999, the Panathlon Foundation has run more than 500 'mini Paralympic' multi-sport competitions for secondary or primary school children and this is the fourth time north Suffolk has staged a multisports final.

They have also trained more than 1,000 young leaders – aged between 14 and 19 – with the recruits for this year's event coming from Lowestoft Sixth Form College.

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With more than 60 children taking part in the pan-disability event, in second place – four points behind Ormiston Denes Academy – were Pakefield High School.

Joint third were Bungay High School and East Point Academy, with 42 points – with The Ashley School in fifth on 34 points.

Meanwhile, John Grant scored 50 points to win the physical event by four points from the Super Stars – made up of competitors from Ashley, Pakefield and Ormiston Denes schools. Third were Warren B and fourth Warren A.

Stuart Aldous, head of PE at Ormiston Denes Academy, said: 'This has been an excellent experience and a great boost for all the pupils and staff.

'The pupils are the happiest they have been all year.'

Riley Gibbons, 13, added: 'It's fun to play non-traditional sports and learn new skills. I love the table cricket.'

The event was sponsored by the Emma Holloway Foundation and the Mason Trust.

Ollie Willis, head of PE at East Point Academy, said: 'There are a lot of smiling faces and students have been getting the feeling of being successful – increasing their confidence and hopefully their overall view about sport.'

In April, a Panathlon competition was held in Norfolk for the first time. The plan is for the winning schools from both counties to compete in another event later this year – possibly alongside schools from Cambridgeshire.

Tony Waymouth, chief operating officer of the Panathlon Foundation, said: 'It is great to see this part of the country moving forward and providing a stepping stone for Panathlon to further build for 2017.'

Stuart Everitt, managing director at Sentinel Leisure Trust, added: 'We love the centre being busy with kids of all ages and abilities coming in to enjoy sport – long may it continue.'

? Do you have a Lowestoft story? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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