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Celebrating inclusion at the Superhero Tri

Tom from RIDI Gold Partner and fellow Superhero Tri sponsor, Guidant Group, describes his recent experience as a participant:

“On Saturday 18th August I joined fellow Guidant Group employees, to compete as part of three teams entered into the Superhero Tri held at Dorney Lake, Windsor.  The brain-child of ex-Paralympian Sophia Warner, the event is part of the Superhero Series – the UK’s one and only series of sports events where any individual (Superhero) with any disability can enter and compete alongside abled-bodied family and friends.

With zero time limits or restrictions on equipment/support (from “Sidekicks” naturally), the event can be entered by any individual, regardless of the adjustments they need to compete. These fundamentals means that the series is truly inclusive.

This absolute inclusively, not only makes the event unique in a sporting context, it made my personal experience of the day one of infectious-joy, getting caught up in the achievement and celebration of others but also one of appreciation and respect, witnessing  the sheer effort competitors put into their own race.

 

My team

My team entered into the ‘Sprint team race’, had a different team member taking each of the three triathlon disciplines, albeit at a reduced distance of a 150m swim, a 3k bike and a 1k push/run to the finish line. Each ‘team’ who enters the race must include at least one individual who considers themselves to have a disability.

I started the race with the swim in the lake, which I can safely say is not what anyone would consider as ‘warm’, then handed over the baton over to Cobey for the 3km bike. Cobey is 6 years’ old and has speech and language development delays; he is currently on the waiting list for an Autism diagnosis. Cobey put in a monumental effort to cover the 3km distance on his bike, but was enjoying himself so much, that when it came time to hand the baton over to our runner, Emma, he kept on going, completing the run with her. What a true Superhero!

 

Every participant a Superhero

Cobey’s obvious joy and sense of achievement and the fact that the race is flexible to allow him to continue with the run as well, really epitomised the spirit and objective of the Superhero series. I have been informed by Cobey’s mum that he wouldn’t take off his medal or race branded t-shirt (even through this was many sizes too big for him) the day after the race.

Aside from competing, as a spectator – witnessing the courage and determination of so many to overcome their individual barriers, obviously pushing themselves to complete their race in the best time they could do – I found very humbling. It was incredibly infectious, sharing and celebrating in their success – we were cheering for everyone at the finish line!

It was joy to see not only abled-bodied and disabled individuals, but also people of all ages from 6 to 60+ competing, supporting each other and challenging themselves in their own way to achieve; to be a real-life Superhero.

 

Celebrity support and TV coverage

The event was filmed by Channel 4 with Clare Balding presenting the coverage on the day. There was plenty of celebrity support – I spotted Adam Hills and David Weir competing as team captains in the ‘Celebrity Superhero Tri’!

Coverage from the event will be on Channel 4 Saturday 1st September – be sure to tune in.”

 

Get involved

If you’re feeling inspired to get involved, visit http://superheroseries.co.uk/ for more information on upcoming events.