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'Every child went home with a medal and a smile on their face:' Delight at sports tournament success

PUBLISHED: 09:16 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:16 11 July 2019

The panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Action from the event. Pictures: Mick Howes

The panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Action from the event. Pictures: Mick Howes

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Primary school pupils from across Lowestoft and Beccles had the chance to take part in sporting challenges as part of an inaugural event.

The panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Action from the event. Pictures: Mick HowesThe panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Action from the event. Pictures: Mick Howes

And the smiles on the children's faces said it all as they enjoyed taking on activities such as bean bag throwing and giant basketball during some "amazing" Panathlon Challenges.

Held at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft in the past few weeks, tournaments were held for KS1 and KS2 pupils from the Active Learning Trust Lowestoft-area primary schools - Westwood, Grove, Albert Pye, Ravensmere, Pakefield, Reydon and Red Oak.

The panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Action from the event. Pictures: Mick HowesThe panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Action from the event. Pictures: Mick Howes

Organised by Red Oak Primary School's PE co-ordinator Johnny Lee, the Panathalon Challenge tournaments took centre stage at the school in Southwell Road last month.

Mr Lee said: "I organised a meeting with all the PE co-ordinators from the Active Learning Trust (ALT) Lowestoft-area primary schools to develop a strategy.

The panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Some of the competitors. Pictures: Mick HowesThe panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Some of the competitors. Pictures: Mick Howes

"We already organise 40 tournaments for different year groups in a range of ALT tournaments each year and in our fifth year we wanted to extend it."

With the aim of developing sporting opportunities for all children, it meant that those who had never competed in a sporting contest before, and others with physical and learning disabilities, had the chance to take part in the KS1 and KS2 Panathlon Challenges.

The panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Pictured are the winners Albert Pye PS. Pictures: Mick HowesThe panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Pictured are the winners Albert Pye PS. Pictures: Mick Howes

Mr Lee said: "It provided 100 children throughout the schools the chance to participate in these events as a Trust.

"They competed in multiple sporting activities against each other, with the children put into teams as they went around different activities with the aim of gaining as many points as possible."

The panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. The Panathlon leaders. Pictures: Mick HowesThe panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. The Panathlon leaders. Pictures: Mick Howes

Enjoying bean bag throwing, ball target throwing, giant basketball, curling and skittles, Mr Lee said that the smiles on the children's faces "said it all."

The event also gave the chance for dozens of Year 5 and Year 6 pupils from five different schools to become junior sports leaders for the events.

The panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Pictures: Mick HowesThe panathlon challenge at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft involved primary schools from across the area. Pictures: Mick Howes

Mr Lee said: "The sports leaders were trained on the best ways to lead during the morning session, then in the afternoon they refereed, coached and led all the panathlon tournament activities gaining an ALT sports leader qualification."

The KS1 tournament was won by Albert Pye, with Red Oak winning the KS2 event.

And thanking the "amazing sponsors" for prizes, trophies, t shirts, equipment and providing medals for every child, Mr Lee praised Panathlon Challenge, the Mayor of London, Emma Holloway Foundation and Scottish Power for their support.

He added: "We have agreed to run the tournaments again next year to give more children opportunities.

"For some of the children taking part it was the first sports tournament they had competed in and every child went home with a medal and a smile on their face."

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