A record breaking Lancaster triathlon for Headway

Headway Triathlon (Kelly Hutton, Sue Kennaway and Justine Moore at front) smlParalympian fencer Justine Moore had the honour of presenting medals to inspirational record breakers taking part in the Headway Morecambe Bay & Fylde Coast Triathlon, which is held to support the vital work of the brain injury association.

The members of Headway Lancaster and Morecambe Bay and Headway Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde put in a top triathlon performance to raise money for their charity groups.

Despite catastrophic brain injuries that have had a life changing effect on their physical and cognitive abilities, group members overcame these barriers to swim, cycle and run the triathlon. This is the second year the sporting event has been held and everyone beat their records set in last year’s triathlon.

Funds are still coming in and being counted but so far the triathlon has raised nearly £7,000 for the charity.

Janet Staff, interim chairperson of Headway Lancaster and Morecambe Bay, says: “It was a fantastic day and our members were inspirational. You can’t underestimate the effort, dedication and determination they have put into training for the triathlon. I’m very proud of all of them and it was fitting that the fabulous London 2012 Paralympian, Justine Moore presented the medals to our incredible members.

“We also owe a huge thank you to 3-1-5 Health Club and Birchall Blackburn Law for their support, help and funding for the triathlon.”

Headway Triathlon (Jason Le Masurier and Justine Moore) smlJason Le Masurier was told he would never walk again after a kite surfing accident in 2007. He has since completed the Skipton Triathlon, the Great North Run, and now two Headway triathlons.

Jason said: “The day was an inspiring success and a great triumph for many people with disabilities who worked so hard to achieve personal bests. The atmosphere was absolutely electric with many Headway members achieving goals they had previously not thought possible.”

Headway member Warren Veale, who had to learn to walk again after a motorbike accident left him in a coma in 2005, took part in the triathlon with his wife, Molly. She is secretary for Headway Lancaster and Morecambe Bay and was recently nominated for a prestigious national Headway Carer of the Year Award, for her full-time love, support and energy to Warren and his incredible rehabilitation.

Molly said: “It was a great day. Warren was fantastic and managed two lengths of the pool this year but now we’re both exhausted!”

Kelly Hutton, Headway Lancaster and Morecambe Bay Committee Member and specialist serious and catastrophic injury lawyer for Birchall Blackburn Law, said: “Funding and access to exercise and sport is vital to rehabilitation after a serious head injury. It’s not just about physical health. There is overwhelming evidence that links exercise and sports participation to psychological well-being among people with disabilities. Sport aids independence, better community integration, quality of life and a strong social network. You could see those benefits working for group members during the triathlon – and their dedication and courage was superhuman!”

Headway Triathlon (Headway members with Justine Moore) smlLouise Thornton, Commercial Director of 3-1-5 Health Clubs, said: “We’ve seen the Headway members get better and better as they trained hard in our Caton Road gym, and then what they achieved during the triathlon was outstanding. Your local health club should contribute positively to the health and wellbeing of the whole community and reaching out to help people get the most out of their lives. It’s an honour to be able to do that and Headway’s local members are an inspiration.”

Headway Lancaster and Morecambe Bay is a support and self-help group for those affected by any aspect of brain injury, and their families, friends, carers and associated medical professionals. The group provides practical and emotional support as well as a vibrant social environment with activities and exercise.

Headway also works to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and campaigns to reduce the incidence of head injuries through education, promoting the use of cycling helmets, reducing car speeds and improving road safety.

For more information about Headway Lancaster and Morecambe Bay go to www.headway.org.uk or call 0808 800 2244.