It was a truly super Saturday, as a family supported by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices donned their masks and took on the amazing Superhero Tri challenge at Dorney Lake raising an amazing £2,500 for their local children’s hospice charity.
The Meader family aka ‘The Incredible Team Meader’ from Guildford, decided to take on the super challenge to raise money for the charity that supports and cares for their son, Liam, who has a life-limiting condition. Shooting Star Children’s Hospices is a local children’s hospice charity who care for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families across Surrey and London. They have two hospices, Christopher’s in Guildford and Shooting Star House in Hampton.
The super Team Meader 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 and ran 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 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, followed by Laura, before facing the final straits sprinting as a truly incredible team triumphantly crossing the finish line together!
Liam’s dad, Nathan said of the event:
“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!”
“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 at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices 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.”
There are many incredible ways you can help your local children’s hospice charity, visit www.shootingstar.org.uk