THE annual School Games Panathlon disability competition proved a huge success last week, bringing smiles to the faces of all those involved at Marlborough College.

Students came from schools from across the county, including Uplands and Brimble Hill in Swindon, St Nicholas and Frogwell from Chippenham, and Larkrise in Trowbridge.

Approximately 80 children aged between nine and 18, attended and all competed outstandingly well, with the most good-natured spirit possible in their events as the School Games values of self-belief, determination, team work, respect, passion and honesty were fully embraced.

There were five main areas of competition, including the Paralympic sport of boccia, as well as table cricket, new age curling, polybat and indoor athletics, the latter including javelin, relay races and even a wheelchair slalom.

The event went very smoothly thanks to organiser James from the London-based Panathlon and his colleagues, as well as Alma and the team from Wiltshire and Swindon Sport.

St James Foundation, who are the main funding organisation behind the Panathlon Games, also sent along five of their staff to help support the athletes.

Organisers would like to thank Marlborough College for hosting the event and the lower sixth students who acted as volunteers.

As part of their studies of the International Baccalaureate, they have to carry out certain community-based learning support schemes, and their help was greatly appreciated.

The students found the experience thoroughly rewarding ,seeing the young athletes overcome so much with huge smiles on their faces.

Beijing 2008 Paralympic swimmer Kate Grey was on hand to present medals to the athletes afterwards and proved a real inspiration to the youngsters as she mingled amongst the competitors and offered encouragement and support.