Disabled pupils up for the challenge

Youngsters from Woodlawn and Beacon Hill schools take part in the javelin event at the Panathalon Gateshead Regional Finals at Gateshead International Stadium. Picture by Richard Lee.
Youngsters from Woodlawn and Beacon Hill schools take part in the javelin event at the Panathalon Gateshead Regional Finals at Gateshead International Stadium. Picture by Richard Lee.
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Disabled youngsters took up the challenge to take part in a regional sports final.

Children from Beacon Hill School, in Wallsend, and Woodlawn School, in Whitley Bay, were among nearly 100 youngsters from ten schools competing in the Panathlon Challenge Multisports Final in Gateshead.

The schools competed in challenges including boccia, table cricket, new age kurling, field athletics and races.

Amanda Bromilow, PE Coordinator at Beacon Hill, said: “They’re enjoying the opportunity to play sports they haven’t experienced before, and as a school, we’re learning new sports which we can use to expand our own PE curriculum.

“It’s good for the children to get out of school with their peers of whole different abilities. Everyone’s so accepting and encouraging.

“It’s nice to see them interacting and engaging with the young Panathlon Leaders, too. It’s a good inclusion project for our school, as well as them.”

Teacher Andrew Bell, of Woodlawn School, said: “It’s a fantastic chance for our pupils to get out of the classroom, try new sports and meet pupils from other schools. You can’t beat days like this.”

Also competing were pupils from Percy Hedley School in Killingworth, who were among the winners.

Helen Jackson, PE tutor, said: “We spent all day watching the smiles on everyone’s faces, saying it was all about the fun and the social benefits. Then when we realised we were in with a chance of winning, we got very competitive!”

Panathlon staged the mini Paralympics event at the Gateshead International Stadium as part of Gateshead Council’s Legacy Games.

Panathlon is a national charity which has provided disabled children with the opportunity to take part in competitive sport since 1999.

Tony Waymouth, Panathlon chief operating officer, said: “It was great to see Tyne and Wear schools out in force for the Multisport Panathlon. Each year we have strong support and this year is no different.”