Bailey Matthews, a nine-year-old triathlete from the U.K. gained worldwide attention when he crossed the finish line of a triathlon unassisted. Matthews, who was diagnosed with triathlon at 18 months old, struggles with walking and uses a custom walker. As he prepared to cross the finish line of his triathlon last summer, he left it behind. A Youtube video of his inspirational finish at the Castle Howard Triathlon in Yorkshire, England went viral.
Matthews has decided to start his own triathlon to help kids with similar disabilities. His triathlon, which will be called the Be More Bailey Triathlon, will raise money to buy equipment for other children who want to participate in the sport. It will also encourage kids with disabilities to try one themselves. The race is a short, super sprint distance to encourage kids of all abilities to race.
“The idea behind the triathlon is to give people a chance to be a part of it, even if they’re not confident they can do it,” Matthews’s father, Jono, told TODAY.com
Matthews’ inspiration to complete a triathlon at age nine came from his father, also a triathlete. Jono Matthews helped his son train for the event and outfitted his bike with equipment so he could ride properly.
The race will be free to all participants in its first year but will accept donations to help keep it going. This year’s race is on July 17th. Wetsuit company Huub has offered to sponsor the race.