On Saturday August 18th a very special event took place, which Meningitis Research Foundation were enormously privileged to attend for the second year running.
The Superhero Tri
at Dorney Lake, Windsor, is a one of a kind inclusive sports event in which participants with disability can take part alongside their family and friends. It’s an event with a “you can do it” attitude – you can always call on a Sidekick from your team of family and friends for an extra ‘push’ to the finish! Superhero Captains lead their team to complete a triathlon between them (or go solo!), with various levels of difficulty to suit all teams and participants.
Meningitis Research Foundation Ambassador Sofia Crockatt and her amazing team were there in full force: running, swimming and push/running their way to glory! Sofia had a leg amputated after contracting meningococcal septicaemia, and lives by her philosophy “never give up”. After some setbacks with her knee during the event, a quick visit to one of the on-site free physiotherapists had her back in fighting spirit in no time. A true athlete!
Team captain Sofia Crockatt and co-captain Cieran Kelso, with MRF Patron Jonnie Peacock.
Co-Captain for the team was Cieran Kelso, a bilateral amputee following his illness with meningococcal septicaemia. Cieran showed that he is a force to be reckoned with as he took on the swimming part of the challenge - his first time in open water – before joining the rest of the team to cross the finish line together. Amongst their team were Mark and Natalie King, who tragically lost their 7 week old son Myles to meningitis in 2015, and MRF Ambassador Lisa Goodall-Clark with her daughter Jess, who survived meningitis at 23 months with hearing loss and acquired brain injury.
The finish line was a triumph of positivity and achievement, the MRF marquee was a social gathering of people bought together by their experiences in a celebration of diversity, but perhaps the most humbling area was the ‘Transition Zone’ where participants prepare for the next part of the challenge – changing prosthetic legs, preparing wheelchairs, and getting psyched! The event welcomes participants using all types of equipment from day chairs, handcycles to trikes and walking frames.
There was a level of challenge to suit everyone and a relaxed atmosphere where the most important thing was giving it a go and taking pride in your achievements no matter what. That went right up to the professionals too – Sofia also took part in the celebrity Tri joined by Paralympic Gold Medallist swimmer Susie Rodgers.
It was wonderful to see a sporting event which a focus on diversity and inclusiveness, and for those with disability to have the opportunity to enjoy taking part in the same sporting event as professional athletes.
#TeamSofia at Superhero Tri, August 2018
We hope the medals earnt on Sunday will be precious keepsakes of a very special day and worn with pride for many more days to come. You can watch footage the event, hosted by Clare Balding, on Saturday September 1st 11.30am on Channel 4 to see this Superhero team showing the world what meningitis survivors are made of!
If you know - or are - a Superhero who would like to give it a go, the next event in the series is the Winter Wonderwheels on December 2nd 2018 which promises to bring plenty of festive cheer (and no swimming in the lake – that one’s just for summer!). The Winter Wonderwheels has 1km, 5km and 10km challenges that Superheroes can cycle, walk, run, push, or anything in between.
Thank you so much to co-captains Sofia and Cieran and everyone on their team and who came to support on the day. Click here to find out more, and how YOU can get involved with #TeamMRF.