This is the heartwarming moment an eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy completes a gruelling triathlon unaided.Inspirational Bailey Matthews was roared over the finishing line by crowds close to tears as he cast aside his specially-adapted walking frame to finish the last 20 metres of the race unaided.Despite stumbling twice on his way to the line, Bailey picks himself to complete the amazing feat.
His parents said they were overwhelmed by the support from the crowd, who had stayed behind to watch Bailey finish one of the country’s most difficult triathlon courses.His mum Julie Hardcastle, 40, said: “He has always struggled with getting dressed, things that parents of other children take for granted.you can see his little face when he came round and saw everyone, that was his way of finishing in style and showing everyone what he could do.”It was the response from the crowd that pushed him to do that.”He doesn’t see himself as different to anyone else.
“The difficult thing is that for us it is normal. We know how amazing he is but the response we have had from other people has been amazing. He inspires us all the time.”
Bailey, who lives in Worksop, Notts, with his mum and brother Finlay, nine, was born nine weeks premature but was not diagnosed with cerebral palsy until he was 18-months-old.He became interested in taking on a triathlon when his dad, Jonathan Matthews, 47, of Doncaster, South Yorks, started pushing him around a five kilometre course at a weekly park run eventThe youngster then told his dad he wanted to take on a triathlon and began training on a bike fitted with special stabilisers and started swimming in a lake.
Julie said: “We have always tried to make sure that if there is something he wants to do, there is no such word as can’t. “He had made his mind up, we knew he would do it but I didn’t expect the reaction from everyone else.”Jonathan added: “The majority of what he does is self-propelled.”He is more than eager to get out and do something. If we can make that easier for him then that is what we will do.
he response has been quite overwhelming. One lady asked us if he did it as a sponsorship thing, but he just did it because it was something he wanted to do. “It would have been very difficult even for able-bodied children.”Because of the size and weight of his walking frame, it is sometimes easier for him to walk unaided than to drag it along.”The response of the spectators was overwhelming, he came last but everyone was waiting for him, which they didn’t have to do.”