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Drapers' Brookside students crowned sporting champions of London

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 July 2019

Drapers' Brookside primary school pupils celebrate their triumph at Copper Box Arena. Picture: Andrew Fosker/Seconds Left

Drapers' Brookside primary school pupils celebrate their triumph at Copper Box Arena. Picture: Andrew Fosker/Seconds Left

Andrew Fosker/Seconds Left

Pupils with disabilities and special needs from Drapers' Brookside Primary School were crowned champions of London at a special sports day.

Drapers' Brookside came up trumps in the Panathlon Primary London Final. Picture: Andrew Fosker/Seconds LeftDrapers' Brookside came up trumps in the Panathlon Primary London Final. Picture: Andrew Fosker/Seconds Left

They competed in adapted multi-sport events such as precision beanbag, basketball, new-age curling, table cricket and athletics races at the Copper Box Arena, Stratford, on Wednesday, July 3.

Children from the Harold Hill school finished first of 20 schools at the Panathlon Primary London Final after battling through the qualifying round.

"It feels amazing!" said pupil Blessing Agyei-Mensha, 10.

"Panathlon makes me feel very, very excited. I am so proud of all my teammates. When I get home I'm going to get through the door and shout, 'We won!'".

Children participated in precision beanbag, basketball, new-age curling, table cricket and athletics races. Picture: Andrew Fosker/Seconds LeftChildren participated in precision beanbag, basketball, new-age curling, table cricket and athletics races. Picture: Andrew Fosker/Seconds Left

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Nicholas Posthuma, PE co-ordinator at the school, added: "Even becoming champions in our borough was beyond our wildest dreams, so this is absolutely fantastic!

"The personal growth for all of the children who compete is wonderful. This environment for them is so clear, well organised and fun. We have a deaf child and the boost I've seen in him is just incredible. It's made an impact on the things academically that he can try and do.

"They suddenly think, 'I can try that!'"

Drapers' Brookside pupils. Picture: Andrew Fosker/Seconds LeftDrapers' Brookside pupils. Picture: Andrew Fosker/Seconds Left

Panathlon gives more than 17,500 young people with disabilities and special needs every year the chance to engage in competitive sport that they are so often otherwise denied.

Drapers' Brookside pipped rivals St Peter's Primary, from Croydon, and Goldbeaters Primary, from Edgeware, into second and third place respectively.

"These are often children who don't go to sporting clubs but now they're trying different clubs within the school and outside. The effect has just been fantastic sport-wise and academically." said Nicholas.

"We started going to Panathlon three years ago. We had a boy in a wheelchair and we didn't know what to do with him. We took him and some other SEN children along to a Panathlon and we have never looked back. To see how much enjoyment they get from it is amazing. They just suddenly feel, 'this is something I can do!'"

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