Doncaster deaf students crowned champions in swimming contest

Pupils from Doncaster School for the Deaf were crowned Panathlon South Yorkshire Primary Swimming champions at Ponds Forge in Sheffield on Wednesday. 

Competing in a range of specially-adapted races and aquatics challenges, the pupils went one better than their performance in the same competition last academic year, when they finished in second behind Heritage Park School from Sheffield. 

Doncaster students making waves

Doncaster students making waves

But they avenged that result this time around, amassing 75 points to edge out Heritage Park (65) into second place, with St Catherine’s Catholic Primary (63) earning bronze. 

The competition was organised by the charity Panathlon, who give over 18,000 young people with disabilities and special needs every year opportunities to engage in competitive sport they are so often otherwise denied. 

Doncaster School for the Deaf pupil Seth Holmes, 10, said: “It feels very exciting. I’m very, extremely happy! To win it in a big arena like this makes it extra special.” 

His teacher, Rebecca Taylor, added: “I think it’s wonderful our pupils get to mix with children who have different disabilities. No-one gets left out here. The social aspect to it is very important for our children who are deaf. We will make sure we share this success in assembly back at school. It’s fabulous for their confidence and self-esteem.” 

With their victory, the Doncaster School for the Deaf team now progress to Panathlon’s North of England Swimming Final back at Ponds Forge later this year.