Last week saw a father and daughter duo race to success in the Manchester Half Marathon, thanks to a specially-designed wheelchair.
Ottobock ambassadors Stephan Couture and his daughter Chloe are no strangers to the sporting circuit, having taken part in more than 25 competitions this year alone.
Back in September, Stephan and Chloe became the first disabled team to take part in the Hever Castle Triathlon. They joined 6,000 other competitors at the iconic Kent castle for the final event of the year in the Castle Triathlon Series, the third largest triathlon event in the UK.
Not ones to rest on their laurels, they also completed the Manchester Half Marathon on Sunday 15th October, another first for this event. They completed the challenging course in just 1h 57m 44s. Helping them along the way to triathlon success was DD1 (Daddy-Daughter 1), Stephan and Chloe’s new Wolturnus Team Twin wheelchair, which was custom-made for them earlier this year.
Throughout 11-year-old Chloe’s life, Stephan has been determined for his family to be as active as possible and never let her disability stop her from enjoying the thrill of all three triathlon disciplines, with the help of their specially-designed wheelchairs. The family live by the mantra “life's too short not to!”
The Team Twin was the next step for Stephan and Chloe after they started their journey to sporting success using an Ottobock Kimba Cross wheelchair, which they named OB1. The new Team Twin was adapted so that Stephan could push Chloe in the chair during the Super Sprint 4km run and pull the chair behind him for the 20km bike ride.
Stephan said: “This triathlon was particularly challenging, but it was worth it. For us, this is about paving the way for families that have children with disabilities, so that they can participate in these kinds of events in the future. Knowing how much Chloe enjoys her active lifestyle, plus the hope that we might inspire others is what makes this so rewarding.”
Stephan and Chloe’s new chair was the very first Wolturnus Team Twin to be delivered in the UK and with some very special engineering skills from Bromakin it can now be towed behind their bike, which is a world first for this chair. A light and robust racing chair, the Team Twin is an enhanced version of the Wolturnus Amasis racing wheelchair that has been used by Paralympic athletes in competitions around the world. The wheelchair is equipped with a height-adjustable push rim, foot plate, neck support and Team Twin spoke protectors. It is designed to give the mobile athlete and the athlete in the chair a comfortable seating position and high running comfort.
Stephan was so impressed with the capabilities of their first off-road wheelchair OB 1 that he established a Trust to help other children in a similar position enjoy the outdoors. Stephan explains the ethos behind the Trust, which the family named the Lady Bugs Trust, saying: “We want to be able to give disabled children and children with special needs a small opportunity to experience just a little something in their lives that they may not otherwise have the chance to.”
Stephan and Chloe will be appearing on Channel 4 this Saturday at 06.40am, 21st October in a special feature about the Hever Castle Triathlon. You can see a preview of the progamme here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMSKfT8HEDI