This August Ryley, age 13, decided to set himself a huge sporting goal and enter the Superhero Tri, the UK’s one and only disability sports series for the Everyday Superhero! Ryley was born with a rare congenital eye condition which limits vision in both of his eyes and after attending VICTA activities himself, decided to support VICTA and raise funds towards our activities and services.
We decided to find out what spurred Ryley on to take on this inspiring challenge…
What inspired you to enter a triathlon?
I wanted to try a new group of sports all together and thought it would be a good challenge. It meant I had to be quite disciplined and train hard.
Was there one leg of the triathlon you found more difficult than the others?
On this occasion I found the cycling particularly challenging as my legs were very tired after the swim, navigating to the bike from the open water quickly, is also quite difficult as there were lots of people around getting in the way, and unfortunately after setting off the chain fell off the bike after 50 yards and it took quite some time for my pilot to put it back on. Really frustrating.
Did you have a guide runner and how did you find them?
I had two guide runners – my papa and my older brother. I can see enough to run but I feel more confident with them alongside especially as they give me a lot of encouragement and also make sure I don’t stumble over things I might not see.
Do you have a personal connection with VICTA that made you want to raise funds for us?
VICTA has opened up lots of opportunities for me and has helped me build independence across the years. I have been on many exciting activities and events with them, such as trips to the Natural History Museum (sleepover), Harry Potter Studios and also Family Weekends at PGL. I know I have been very fortunate.
As a young person, how did you go about your fundraising?
Mum set up a Virgin Money Giving page and we just spent time telling friends and family what I was going to do and let them know how the training was going. They were very supportive and very generous. I guess using social media is a good way to spread the word.
Did you reach your fundraising target?
Yes I did and actually raised a little more, and even better with the gift aid!
How does it feel to be a superhero?
I felt very honoured to participate in this event, very proud of my effort and pleased that I got through the whole thing. I was also very thankful for my family and friend’s encouragement which inspired me and ensured I remained determined through the training and the event itself. Next year I want to compete again and hope that I can raise even more money and smash my time.