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Superhero Tri Series: interview with Paralympian David Weir

Disability Horizons Co-founder Martyn Sibley interviews Paralympic gold medalist David Weir about the Superhero Series sporting event that took place this summer.

On Saturday 19th August I headed to Lake Dorney in Windsor. There was a very cool triathlon event being held. It goes by the name of ‘Superhero Series’. As the series founder Sophia Warner says; “Superhero Series aims to create fun, gutsy events where disabled people call the shots and don’t have to worry about cut-off times or equipment restrictions.”

I was kindly invited down by Barclays to experience and share the day with you. As I was driving from Cambridgeshire I could feel the excitement build up. I also had so many unanswered questions. How could people of all impairments swim, cycle, and roll/stroll? Who would win? What other exhibitors would there be in the festival area?

Most of all I was looking forward to interviewing Paralympic champion David Weir! We had an hour set aside to film my pre-prepared questions. So as I drove around the M25 I was memorising my lines 🙂

As soon as I arrived, the fun hit me. Just going from the car park to meet David, I saw so much cool equipment. Prosthetic legs and arms, hand bikes, tandem bikes, and accessible surfboards. Most of all I noticed people of all ages smiling, and preparing to either participate or cheer on loved ones.

There was a real buzz around the lake.

I then met the #weirwolf himself and we setup for the filming. It was a pleasure to meet David Weir. To learn about his story. The ups and downs. The advice he’s passing onto other disabled people. The next challenges.

Here’s a video from the day, including our interview (I recommend using the YouTube subtitles):

As you can see, there were so many participants and people cheering them on. There were so many exhibitors too. From charities to companies. With information provision to fun games. Selfies with cows to live music.

All were there because they love and believe in Sophia’s vision.

As a sponsor, Barclays were exhibiting their initiatives on accessibility. They have many projects they run for disabled and older people. My favourite was the 3D printer, which is able to create something like a bottle opener. Not only does it print useful items, it can sometimes be quicker and cheaper than other production methods. The potential uses of this are huge.

I’m looking forward to visiting the Digital Eagle lab in Cambridge. I’ll be hearing even more about the work going on for inclusion at Barclays. Which of course I’ll share with you.

Regarding who won the races. Well, you’ll be pleased to hear David and team Barclays won the celebrity Paralympic race! You may have even spotted David racing in the video? As for the other races and participants, you can check them all out on the event website. Just search for ‘super hero tri series’. There’s lots of great information about the day.

Congratulations to Sophia and her team. The day was definitely an outright success! I arrived home tired, but exhilarated. When you see people of all abilities taking part in a triathlon, you realise what is possible in the world. We just need big dreams, and collaborative action.

Finally, I want to thank Barclays for their kind invitation to Windsor. If you’d like to learn more about Barclays accessibility projects, you can follow them on Twitter with @BarclaysAccess.

By Martyn Sibley

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