Boy With Cerebral Palsy Launches Triathlon for Kids With Disabilities
In July 2015 Bailey Matthews competed in the Castle Howard Triathlon in North Yorkshire, England, and the video of him crossing the finish line went viral. Just feet before completing the race, Matthews ditched his walking frame, and though he fell twice, he got back up and finished the race unassisted.
Matthews, 9, told BBC Radio Derby that he loves triathlons, so it was only natural that he’d launch his own — this one for kids with disabilities and their families. Matthews’ event, called the Be More Bailey Triathlon, will be part of the Jenson Button Trust Triathlon, and it will take place at Markeaton Park in Derby on Sun., July 17, according to the event’s website.
“I wanted to be involved in doing some good for all the children,” Matthews told BBC Radio Derby. “If you feel like you want to try it out, but don’t think you can, the thing that I do is: I can try triathlon because it has the word ‘try’ in it.”
The amazing Bailey Matthews, who’s only nine and has cerebral palsy, explains why everyone should have a go at his triathlon in Derby this summer
Posted by BBC Radio Derby on Friday, February 19, 2016
The event will consist of a 50-meter swim in the lake, a 2.5-kilometer bike ride and a 750-meter run, and children may be assisted with an adult. Funds raised will go to the Be More Bailey Foundation, which helps buy sporting equipment for children with disabilities.
Ken Stern, founder of CerebralPalsy.org, was thrilled to hear about Matthews’ triathlon, and he praised the youngster for taking action.
“Bailey’s enthusiasm and can-do attitude are examples of how amazing children with cerebral palsy can be with the right support structure and environment,” Stern told The Mighty. “With more awareness and accessibility, children will grow up thinking more about what is possible instead of what isn’t available. We need more people like Bailey in the world – both within the CP community and outside of it!”
Matthews was honored with the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in 2015, and his story has caught the eye of a number of celebrities. Simon Cowell shared a message of support for Matthews on Good Morning Britain on Thursday, and HuubDesign, a sporting gear company that is helping organize the Be More Bailey Triathlon, shared it on its YouTube page:
“Why can’t everyone be like Bailey?” Cowell says in the video above. “If we had more Baileys in the world, like you, the world would be a better place.”