Aquatic Centre hosts Panathlon finals

For the second year running, the London Aquatics Centre – formerly the Olympic swimming pool – played host to the finals of the London & South East Swim Panathlons.

Competition amongst special schools across the region had been fierce to qualify for finals day. WNST has been funding Panathlon’s expansion around the capital and was delighted to welcome four schools to Stratford to compete for the title of London champions – Queensmill (Acton), West Lea (Edmonton), Lark Hall (Stockwell) and St John’s RC (Woodford).  These schools were pitched against others from as far afield as north Suffolk and Berkshire.

Undoubtedly, the chance for so many young disabled people to represent their school and their locality in competitive sport at such a prestigious venue inspired all the participants to give their all and produce personal performances of the highest standard.  The gala consisted of 9 events – including freestyle, backstroke, team and relay races, all testing the participants’ skill and stamina.  Importantly, every competitor in each race scores points for his or her team, and so contributes towards the final outcome.

At the end of the gala, West Lea were crowned London champions and many congratulations to them.  WNST CEO, Stewart Goshawk, and Paralympic swimmer and Panathlon ambassador Liz Johnson were on hand to present the medals to the members of each team and to give the winners’ trophy to the West Lea captain.

Overall, the gala winners, for the second year running, were The Priory School from Bury St Edmunds – so congratulations to them as well.

Many thanks are due to GLL for their support in hosting the event at the London Aquatics Centre; to all the teachers and staff who accompanied the students on the day; and to the sports leaders from the Ellen Wilkinson School in Great Baddow, Essex, who helped out both in and out of the water.

And of course, thanks to Panathlon for another great occasion!