Panathlon - Robinswood clinch National Primary glory

Robinswood Primary Academy pupils were crowned Panathlon National Primary champions at the Copper Box Arena on Thursday after edging out highly experienced rivals Barr View who were last year's inaugural winners and Drapers’ Brookside from London.

Robinswood pupils comfortably won Group 1 to secure the title, they edged defending champions Barr View from Birmingham into second, Barr View had won Group 3 and the Group 2 winners Drapers’ Brookside, our reigning London champions came in third.

With 136 competitors from 18 schools from all four corners of the country descending on the London 2012 venue, competition was fierce. That made Robinswood’s victory all the sweeter – especially for one pupil, Panathlon debutante Alisha Lee, 10.

“It’s awesome being a newcomer int the school team and coming to a place like this. It’s so cool. I don’t get to be in the school teams and I’ve never won first place in anything. My only other medal was for a house team competition and I only came fourth place – this is my first ever gold and I’m a national champion!”

“It’s been phenomenal,” said Stewart Radcliffe, a teacher at Robinswood, whose pupils won Group One by a mammoth 11 points ahead of nearest challengers Albert Pye from Suffolk.

Mr Radcliffe added: “To represent the school at this huge arena is excellent for our children who don’t tend to participate in any other sporting events. It helps them concentrate and boosts their self-esteem massively. They’ve been talking about it ever since they found out we had qualified.”

Such was Robinswood pupils’ excitement at coming to the Copper Box Arena, they invited two pupils – Jerry Powell and Kieran Lewellyn-Everett – who had helped them qualify but had since moved on to secondary school. “We felt they couldn’t miss out so contacted the high school and they were desperate to be part of it,” said Mr Radcliffe.