Autism Anglia’s Doucecroft School is extremely pleased to present the winner and runner up in the Panathlon Essex Outstanding Young Achiever which is supported by Woodland Group.  

The award is for children nominated by schools across Essex who participate in Panathlon primary aged events. Panathlon are a fantastic national charity who give young people with Special Educational Needs and disabilities the chance to take part in competitive sports. With over 50,000 young people taking part in their diverse range of events this year, the charity does some excellent work both physically and even virtually! 

Doucecroft pupil Joseph Parlow has won the Essex Outstanding Young Achiever for primary school events in 2022. Joseph started playing the Panathlon games just 1 on 1 in the classroom, before eventually moving out to join KS2 PE sessions. These PE sessions were set out like the Panathlon would be and included visual elements and small groups. After only a matter of weeks, Joseph trusted those around him and he was getting ready for off site visits and even weekly swimming lessons to attend the London Panathlon swimming event! 

Joseph, because of this keen interest in sports and teamwork, is now an extremely confident young man who ‘always has time for everyone’. Joseph has also been teaching his sister about the sports he plays!  

Joseph, you can be so proud of yourself, not just for this award, but the leaps forward in self-development that you have demonstrated along the way. Well done! Take a look at this article from Panathlon about Joseph here

Peter Vaughan was the runner up and is also a student at Doucecroft. Peter was introduced to sport through Panathlon activities such as bean bag target games with his peers. Once used to these games, he joined KS2 PE. Each week the school would set the Panathlon activities up, have balancing stations and even have a few running games to help develop Peter.  

As these PE sessions were so successful, the school discussed with Peter if he would like to participate in off-site swimming sessions which he has since attended! Peter was then asked if he wanted to compete in a primary school Panathlon which he initially refused, but once convinced the smile on his face when he won his medals was priceless.  

The benefits are so evident for Peter – he now has the confidence to lead a group, is more coordinated and demonstrates a real understanding of team spirit amongst his peers. His fear of failing has dissipated, and he is now exploring sports such as gymnastics, trampolining and even completed his primary sports leaders! Find out more about Peter's award here

Kate Hancock, Chief Executive at Autism Anglia said: 

“With both pupils achieving real excellence, we would like to also take the time to thank all the staff at Doucecroft for their endless commitment and strive for greatness when it comes to young people. The drive which is engrained into the fabric of the school is evident and another big thank you to Panathlon and Woodland Group for giving out the awards.” 

Joseph and Peter weren't the only winners of awards from Panathlon however - you can read all about the other fantastic work from Doucecroft pupils here