Boy with Cerebral Palsy Creates His Own Triathlon for Kids with Disabilities

Bailey Matthews, 9, created his own race for kids with disabilities.

ByABC News
February 22, 2016, 2:23 PM

— -- After successfully competing in a triathlon, a 9-year-old British boy with cerebral palsy decided to start his own for kids with disabilities.

Bailey Matthews, who was diagnosed at 18 months with the disease, crossed the finish line at the Castle Howard Triathlon last July with the crowd excitedly cheering him on. A video of Matthews ditching his walking frame, falling down twice and then completing the race by walking on his own went viral last year with more than 800,000 views on YouTube, even getting the attention of celebrities such as Simon Cowell.

So Matthews decided to create his own triathlon for kids with disabilities just like him called the Be More Bailey Triathlon.

"It isn't a triathlon just for children with disabilities it is for every child," Matthews told ABC News.

The Be More Bailey Triathlon, slated for July 17 in Derby, United Kingdom, will challenge kids to swim for 50 meters, bike for 2.5 kilometers and finish the race by running for 750 meters.

"The great thing about this event is that it's purely based on participation, excitement and fun," Dean Jackson, the triathlon's organizer, told ABC News. "There's no timing with this. You get in and finish at your own time."

"Bailey wanted grannys and uncles and guardians doing the triathlon with the child," Jackson, who is the founder of endurance sports company Huub added. "It's all him and it's fantastic to have such a vision."

Matthews' triathlon is one part of Jackson's Jenson Button Trust Triathlon, where participants compete. The Be More Bailey Triathlon will happen in between qualifying rounds for kids who can't wait to cross the finish line.

"It will give them the chance to join in and do the same as everybody else," Matthews said.

Matthews' father, Jonathan, said he's proud that one of his son's passions has turned into an event beneficial to their community.

"It's quite overwhelming because originally when he did his triathlon, it was just a family day out," the Doncaster, England man told ABC News. "Bailey's outlook on life is very positive. If he gets down about being disabled, he keeps it to himself. I think that's what he's doing with this. He wants to help other children and help give them the confidence that he's got."