An inspirational 9-year-old with cerebral palsy who last year completed his first triathlon is set to take on the Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon in Gort.
Bailey Matthews, from Doncaster in the UK, stole the show at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards last December.
He completed his first-ever triathlon last summer at Castle Howard in Yorkshire and is now coming to Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon on Sunday 29 May, where he will take part in the children’s Widgeon event involving a 100m lake swim, 4km cycle and 800m run.
The Castle Howard Triathlon last summer was overwhelmingly emotional, both for Bailey’s parents and for spectators. As Bailey approached the finish of the run, he bravely dropped his walking support and completed the home straight unaided. Hundreds of supporters cheered him on, as he tripped a couple of times before picking himself up to cross the finish line into the arms of proud parents, Jonathan and Julie. There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd.
The story became a social media sensation, gaining over 50,000 Facebook ‘likes’ in two days before being picked up by countless media outlets around the world.
Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon is now delighted to welcome Bailey. “Bailey is really looking forward to next season,” said his father Jonathan. “We’re lining up to do the full Castle Tri Series, starting with Lough Cutra Castle, which should be a great adventure for us all. Bailey is particularly looking forward to his open-water swim training as this is his favourite discipline.”
In addition to adult races, Lough Cutra Castle offers three triathlons for children from 8 to 16 years old. Competitors in all races are encouraged to fundraise for ISPCC Childline, the official charity partner. The triathlon attracts entries from all over Ireland, the UK, France and beyond. 8 different triathlons mean there is an option for everyone, whatever their fitness level or age.
More information is available on www.lough cutratri.ie.