It was truly super Saturday on 17th August, as Shooting Star Children’s Hospices very own superheroes The Incredible Team Meader donned their masks and took on the amazing Superhero Tri challenge at Dorney Lake.
The super family, who are supported at Christopher’s, our Guildford hospice, was led by hero Liam along with his teammates, mum Laura, dad Nathan, brother Noah and uncle Lucas, who, dressed in their finest superhero outfits swam, cycled, ran and pushed their way around the course. Team Meader was supported by their incredible sidekicks of family and friends, who helped transport and set up their equipment, and get them to the starting lines on time.
Superhero Tri is part of the Superhero Series, the UK’s one and only disability sports series and asks participants to take on a fun challenge, which is fully inclusive and designed with assisted athletes in mind. Saturday’s event included swimming, running and cycling – where you could do as much or as little as you wish, with as much or as little support as you need. From flippers or floats on the water to using powerchairs or adaptive bikes – it’s all available for participants to use.
Liam’s mum, Laura said, “Liam was diagnosed with a rare epilepsy syndrome at two days old, which means he is profoundly disabled, so we were told by the hospitals from the start to expect the worst. Maybe he’d live to be two years old. But here we are eight and a half years later, and determined to make the most of whatever time we have together. We would never have dreamt that we could take part in a sporting event like this. Liam’s disability is so profound that lots of doors are closed to us, and as he gets bigger our world starts to shrink a little more. But to take part in a special triathlon is just such an amazing opportunity. We couldn’t miss out on the chance to achieve the unthinkable!”
The Incredible Team Meader took part in every element of the triathlon, utilising the specially adapted equipment. For the swimming section across Dorney Lake, Liam and brother Noah set sail in a dry and comfy dingy – making sure Laura, Nathan and Lucas were staying on course as they swam and pulled the youngest members of the superhero team along.
Back on dry land specially adapted bikes meant that dad Nathan and Liam and uncle Lucas and Noah could whizz round the course, before facing the final straits sprinting as a truly incredible team triumphantly crossing the finish line together!
Nathan, Liam’s dad said, “We have had such a fun day! It was quite a tough challenge (and the water was properly cold when we first got in!) but such a great atmosphere. The location is also perfect – nice and flat for the run and cycle – and really picturesque. Which takes your mind off the aching muscles! I would recommend this challenge to anyone with a disabled person in their family – it’s a unique event and ideal for families like ours. If you fancy giving it a ‘Tri’ then go for it!”
Laura concluded, “We know that we couldn’t have come this far without the support of the hospice. A lot of people we know – and a few we don’t! – have been really generous in sponsoring us to do this crazy thing, simply because of that.”
Karen Peffer, Challenge Events Fundraiser said, “Superhero Tri is a brilliant event for people of all abilities. It’s completely inclusive, so perfect for our supported families. It was a truly inspiring afternoon. It was a privilege to cheer Laura, Nathan, Liam, Noah and Lucas on. I’m sure they have made some wonderful memories for the whole family to cherish.”
Super Team Meader have raised an out of the world £2,500 for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices – a huge congratulations to them all for taking on such a challenge!
If this has inspired you to feel as incredible as the Meader’s – have a look at our Events Calendar to see all sorts of super challenges you can take part in and support families like Liam’s. And if you and your family would like to ‘Tri’ a Superhero style challenge you don’t have to wait until next year – Winter Wonderwheels is taking place on 1st December and is just the challenge to keep you motivated over Winter!