Triathlon makes a splash for all
Disabled children from around the north east came together for a sporty challenge.
The Children’s Disability Triathlon, sponsored by SOS Group, is now in its fifth year and growing every year.
It is designed especially for children with disabilities who would normally be challenged by the thought of doing such an event.
It gives them the chance to take part in a traditional triathlon – swimming, cycling and running – by adapting distances according to ability and with all the support they need.
Former Great Britain triathlete Jo Shallcross, from Ponteland, is helping to ensure children, such as ten-year-old Kacy Wrightson, from Cramlington, get the chance to enjoy the sport.
Jo said: “It’s really special seeing the children come back year after year and you get the biggest hugs when they come in. They’re just so happy to be back again.
“It’s like a highlight of their year and I know it is for me. We just love it and it’s so worth doing.
“Every year the children push themselves to the max. Even if their health is deteriorating a little bit, they still come and do whatever they can on the day. It’s great to see how much taking part means to them.”
This year there were 35 participants and a small group of young adults who were trying the triathlon for the first time.
European gold medal winning swimmer Nick Pyle and former Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper helped to present the medals.
Steve said: “This is such great day. I came a couple of years ago and it’s brilliant to give these kids the opportunity to swim, ride and run, no matter what their ability.
“It’s amazing to see the smiles on their faces and the sense of achievement they obviously get. And it’s great to see them all get a medal at the end and go home very happy.”
Based at the David Lloyd Club in Gosforth, The Children’s Disability Triathlon is supporting the Smile For Life children’s charity, with some participants choosing to be sponsored for their involvement.