Organisers of GO TRI Reason To Disability Tri, Jo Shallcross and Tracey Sample, have been awarded Tyne and Wear Sport’s #PassOnYourPassion Award for their work in providing accessible sport opportunities.
Inspired by their own triathlon experiences, Jo and Tracey set up GO TRI Reason To Disability Tri six years ago having noted the lack of provision for disabled children in their area. Due to the success and heart behind the event, they were voted the Triathlon England Children’s Event of the Year in 2018 and received this regional award for their 2019 event.
The #PassOnYourPassion Award is designed to recognise individuals in the Tyne and Wear area who are passionate about sport and are doing incredible things to get others involved. Celebrating the success and commitment of local coaches and volunteers, the award recognises that volunteers are the lifeblood of sport and do amazing things in local communities.
GO TRI Reason To Disability Tri is a unique event where each participant completes a distance that is right for them. There is no timing and the aim is to simply complete the course and cross the line. Everyone finishes together and receives a high-five as they cross under the balloon arch to complete their challenge and get finishers medal, this year handed out by former Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi, who has become an invested friend of the event.
In 2019, the event was opened up to adults for the first time with over half the participants being 16 or over. Easily selling out, the event shows the level of interest and demand for accessible events that exists.
Due to the rain the bike leg had to be cancelled this year, however Jo and Tracey were keen to see participants complete a triathlon with participants either jumping on a static bike or giving some fun games a-go.
After the event Tracey said, “As organisers we often cry because every competitor has an inspirational story. Most say it is the best day of the year for them. They make friends and it is just about the only time they do exercise not linked with rehab.
"Over the six years we have seen some participants progress from not being able to walk at all, to being able to walk the last couple of steps over the line with just their sticks and can now walk the length of the finish straight without help.”
Jenny Vincent, Head of Participation at British Triathlon, said: “GO TRI is a platform for anyone to get involved with triathlon, and it’s great to see how Tracey and Jo have made their event accessible. Their hard work epitomises what GO TRI is all about in providing everyone with a great experience in swim, bike and run.
“Congratulations to you both and well done on receiving this well-deserved award.”