Following the success of last year’s Superhero Series, the only sports series dedicated to the UK’s 13.3 million people with disabilities and long-term injuries, event partner npower has launched an innovative new service to enable even more families to participate in the inspirational Superhero Tri.
The new ‘npower support squad’ will provide support dinghies and volunteers to give participants even more confidence to enter the swim section and enjoy the rewarding experience. In addition to providing assistance in the water at Dorney Lake on 18 August, 2018, the support squad will be fully involved on land from leading participants in the warm-up to cheering them across the finish line.
Professor Greg Whyte OBE, best known for coaching David Walliams to swim the Thames and helping Eddie Izzard, Davina McCall and Zoe Ball to conquer Sport Relief challenges, has been so inspired by the Everyday Superheroes taking part in the Superhero Tri that he has signed up as a swimming ‘Sidekick’ to support families by towing the dinghies and Superheroes.
Professor Whyte will lead the npower support squad in the water and has already set about recruiting members of the Wycombe Swim Squad to join him on the day.
“I’m really excited about attending this wonderful event,” said Professor Whyte. “There are so many inspirational families and participants involved in the Superhero Tri and I can’t wait to meet them and cheer them on during their sporting challenge.
“Our role in the npower support squad will very much be in a Sidekick capacity. The event is all about the incredible characters and athletes taking part, we will simply be on hand to offer words of encouragement, provide a tow if required and help manoeuvre the npower dinghies, to make sure that anyone wanting to complete the swim does just that.”
A recent study indicated that disabled people are twice as likely to be physically inactive (43 per cent) as non-disabled people (21 per cent) due to a lack of confidence or access to specialist equipment.
Jayne Hughes and her team are one of 10 families who signed up to the new support dinghies within 24 hours of the announcement. The family are travelling to Windsor from Ireland and can’t wait to take on the Superhero Tri challenge again.
“The npower support squad is such a brilliant idea,” she said: “Our twin sons Callistus and Caleb have very limited ability to enjoy independent movement and they both hugely enjoyed taking part in all three elements of Superhero Tri in 2017 involving water, cycling and running.
“We were so pleased to hear about the additional support of dinghies and volunteers for the water section - knowing support is on hand to help our boys and families in a similar position to complete the swim in open water will provide a golden opportunity for all children to experience the excitement of the water stage.
“It is also particularly helpful as we are travelling from Ireland and unable to transport suitable equipment, so hopefully this addition will encourage more families to make the journey and get involved in a sports event which can and does include all of our Superheroes. It's going to be fun!”
Sophia Warner, Paralympian and founder of the Superhero Series, added: “We have seen a fantastic response to the launch of npower’s support squad. It’s brilliant that npower has come up with a fun and powerful way to further support families by providing dinghies and volunteers.
“We know how much fun participants will have in the open water swim, so it’s great that even more families will get to experience this. I hope it also gives them a boost of confidence when they accomplish the swim so that next year they come back and try to swim even further.”
Over 2,000 participants have already signed up to tackle the swim, bike and push/run at Dorney Lake. If you would like to join the fun and request access to an npower support dinghy during the swim, contact email@example.com or call 01306 627301.
The Superhero Tri which is supported by 30 Celebrity Team Captains including Team npower captain Jonnie Peacock, Adam Hills, JJ Chalmers, David Weir, Freya Levy and Susie Rodgers, will be broadcast on Channel 4 on 1 September just after lunchtime, and will be advertised ahead of time to raise its profile with Channel 4 viewers.
Research shows that seven out of every 10 disabled people would like to be more active, but most cannot find the right activity or know what is available.
See superheroseries.co.uk for more information on the Superhero Tri.
About Superhero Series
Superhero Series is the only mass-participation sports series dedicated to the UK’s 13.3 million people with disabilities, plus their friends, family and colleagues – it is the sport event for the everyday Superhero.
Founded by Paralympian Sophia Warner, who has been involved in disability sport for 25 years, the third event in the series will be on Saturday 18 August, 2018 at Dorney Lake, Windsor.
Superhero Series gives everyone, from total beginners through to elite athletes, the chance to find their inner super power and achieve an inspirational goal. Participants can be as competitive as they like but the priority is on having fun.
The Series will feature a number of events, including:
• Mass-participation triathlons and triathlon relays over three distances (Sprint, Half and Full) – friends and family without disabilities can participate in the relay provided one relay member has a disability
• Sidekick Tri – a unique triathlon where those with disabilities can receive additional support from their Sidekick, particularly towing them round the swim and pushing around the push/ run stages
• Celebrity Superhero Tri with Team Captains recruiting team mates to join them on a triathlon relay team
• It is supported by 30 Celebrity Team Captains, including: Jonnie Peacock, Adam Hills, JJ Chalmers, David Weir, Freya Levy and Susie Rodgers
Three ways to take part:
• Team up – do 1 stage each. Unite with family & friends (disabled and non-disabled) to share the work & the fun.
• Grab a Sidekick – This is a unique chance for a Sidekick (a Superhero helper) to tow a friend or loved one in the water and push or pull them around the bike & push/run stages.
• Fly solo – for those who want to take on all three triathlon stages. Everyone entering a solo event must consider themselves to have a disability.