And with good reason! Bailey, who happens to have cerebral palsy, completed his first triathlon last year, throwing away his walking frame to complete the last 20 yards of the final running event on his own.
And There’s more: Last month, he created and ran this own, “Be More Bailey Triathlon” alongside Jenson Button’s event at Markeaton Park in Derby. His mission: To bring families together, and help all children build confidence; to get involved and run a triathlon.
PLAIN HEROIC 2
Don’t worry, he has been duly awarded for his heroism. He’s joined the ranks of these guys;…
Left – right: 3 , 4; Tanni Grey-Thompson, gold medalist for the 100 m, 200 m, 400 m and 800 m events at the 2000 Summer Paralympics, Ellen Macarthur, the fastest woman to circumnavigate the globe, and Frank Williams, founder of the highly decorated Williams Formula one team.
…in winning a Helen Rollason award for upholding the virtues of courage, achievement and the ability to inspire others in the face of adversity. And these guys in winning a Pride of Britain award, as a “child of courage”:
Left – right: 5 , 6 , 7; Malala Yousafzai, David Beckham (and Bailey Matthews), and Sir Steven Redgrave.
Despite all this though, the best thing about Bailey, clearly, is his indomitable character. Just watch his hilarious acceptance speech, or #bemorebailey interview (as interviewed by himself, ofcourse):
The keen eyed among you will have noticed that every time you see Bailey in action, he has quite literally, a shiny new set of wheels. Now whilst it is true that this 9 year old already has a better garage than you, it’s also true that better walking aids are needed so that young people like Bailey can reach their potential! A study by the English Federation of Disability Sport asked this question:
What’s really stopping disabled people partaking in physical activities? The top 3 answers were:
- Lack of opportunity to partake in activities
- Lack of appropriate assistive equipment
- Negative perceptions of assistive equipment
If you have cerebral palsy but you don’t stay active and use your mobility, you lose it. Unfortunately, this a common one-way trend during adolescence, a £1.9 billion PA problem for the NHS and a priceless cost to the quality of life of the individual and their families.
But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Children like Bailey who are motivated to move; may be able to leave their frames behind completely. That’s why when he runs, he also fund-raises; to buy equipment for other disabled school children, so that they can enjoy sport! Exyo’s off-road walker will be a bridge to complete independence for these children in the future. So help us get the word out! If you know someone who uses a walking aid, send them to our website: exyo.co.uk
And if you keep finding yourself burying your head in your hands every time you check your news-feed, or are just having a rough day; just think of this young chap from Worksop, and Be More Bailey!