Young disabled athletes from Sefton and beyond recently lit up the Waterloo Festival as the sun shone on Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre.
Taking place on Sunday 18 June, Sefton’s second para-triathlon for children and young people with additional needs saw over 30 competitors swimming, cycling and running through a challenging course. Cheered on by a strong crowd, the para-triathletes run a closely fought contest.
Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health at Sefton said:
“I was really inspired by everyone who took part in the para-triathlon – at Sefton Council we never take for granted how challenging competitive sport can be for children with disabilities.
“I am also really proud of the young people who came along to give them very vocal encouragement on the day.
“During the training programme at Litherland Sports Park, a group of local young people asked if they could use the bikes. Our children were wary of them but the team at Aiming High let them join in on the condition they also took part in the running practice with the group.
“Friendships were forged with these young men and it was a wonderful surprise for the children to see them there to give them very vocal support on the day, and some of them even completed all three disciplines with their new friends.”
Cllr. John-Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding said:
“It is encouraging to see so many of our young people with disabilities pushing themselves to their limits and clearly enjoying comradery with their peers and new friends they have made.
“This event is the only one of its kind in the Liverpool City Region and I look forward to watching it grow and grow fulfilling the ambition to be the youth para-triathlon event for the region”
John Doran of Sefton Aiming High added
“This is another example of how disabled young people show society what they are capable of. Ability, strength and determination were here in abundance today and we should be proud of them all. I would also like to thank the volunteers from Aiming High and TEAM Sefton, and the organisers of the Waterloo festival for agreeing to let us showcase the athletes’ ability not disability”
Winners on the day were, Dylan Duke, Over 18 Male, Mild Learning Difficulty (MLD) category; Dan Harden, over 18 Male, Complex Needs category; Jim O’Keefe, Secondary Male, MLD category; Sam Lofthouse, Secondary Male, physical category; Sarah Bricklebank, Female over 18 MLD category and Jess McNally, Female Primary MLD category.
For more information on sporting activities for children and young people with special educational needs and / or disabilities (SEND), contact Sefton Council’s Aiming High for Disabled Children Service on 0151 288 6811 or by email:email@example.com
You can find all information for children and young people SEND at Sefton’s Local Offer website: seftondirectory.com/localoffer