Nine-year-old Bailey Matthews, who shot to fame when he received awards for his courage and determination in the ‘Pride of Britain’ and ‘BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015’ awards, will lead a family challenge as part of this summer’s Jenson Button Trust Triathlon.
Children will compete with an adult family member or friend in a mini-triathlon on part of the main Jenson Button Trust Triathlon course, which will take place at Derby’s Markeaton Park on Sunday 17 July.
The Doncaster schoolboy, who has Celebral Palsy, first captured the hearts of the UK when a video of him casting aside his walking frame to cross a triathlon race finish line went viral.
He was invited to spearhead the family challenge in Derby by the Jenson Button Trust and triathlon event organisers, Derby-based HUUB Events. Even pop music mogul Simon Cowell has sent in a message of support…
The main triathlon event will see the McLaren Honda Formula 1 racing driver joining hundreds of novice, intermediate and elite athletes as well as teams of three people in the Team Challenge for the main triathlon.
Competitors will start the triathlon with a 200m swim in Markeaton Park lake. The 10K circular cycle route will take place on closed roads into the city centre and then heads back into the park for a 2.5K run.
Everyone will have the opportunity to race twice – once in the morning and once in the afternoon for the women’s men’s and team challenge finals and wooden spoon event.
During the lunchtime break – the family challenge will start with a 50m swim in the lake then head out onto the closed roads for a one and a half mile cycle before a 750m run – crossing the same finishing line as the JBTT triathletes.
Jenson Button said “Bailey is an inspiration to us all. I hope that young people far and wide will enter this mini triathlon and then, hopefully, catch the triathlon bug and join us for the main event in years to come.”
Dean Jackson, founder and owner of HUUB Events and triathlon wetsuit and clothing company HUUB Design continued, “July 17 will be a fantastic celebration of sport – involving novice and elite athletes, teams of three and now family members – and making it the largest ever Jenson Button Trust Triathlon.”
Leader of Derby City Council Cllr Ranjit Banwait concluded, “With 2016 being an Olympic year and all our thoughts returning to the lasting legacy of sport – I am delighted that Derby will be leading the way again and hosting an even more spectacular event this summer.”
Funds raised by the family challenge will go to the ‘Be More Bailey’ Foundation to buy equipment for children and young people with disabilities who want to participate and compete in sport. Funds raised by the main Jenson Button Trust Triathlon will again support Cancer Research UK.