Bailey Matthews aged 8 with Cerebral Palsy finishing Triathlon

Bailey Matthews aged 8 with Cerebral Palsy finishing Triathlon

Hundreds of people gathered at the finish line to cheer the youngster. Bailey completed the 100m lake swim, 4km bike ride and 1.3km run at the Castle Howard Triathlon in North Yorkshire.

Saturday the 25th of July, Bailey Matthews (aged 8) from Worksop, has cerebral palsy, but even that didn’t stop him to finish his first ever triathlon. At the finish line there were hundreds of emotional spectators cheering this young hero.

The crowd got really excited and roared to give it a last boost of energy to Bailey. The reason for that special encouragement was that all the sudden he stepped away from his walking support to finish the last 20 meters of the race with no additional aid. This sure was a really emotional moment to see. The crowd was in tears and I completely agree with the occasion. When crossed the finish line, Bailey’s dad Jonathan gave him the proudest hug ever. And look at the happiest and biggest smile the kid has on his face when crossing the finish line, it’s just impressive.

Bailey’s parents Julie and Jonathan Matthews were completely “overwhelmed” after seeing all the crowd that had stayed behind to see the youngster to finish one of the country’s most difficult triathlon courses.

You could see his little face when he came round and saw everyone, that was his way to finish in style and showing everyone what he could do” said the proud mother Julie.

Bailey lives with his mother and brother Finlay (aged 9). He was born nine weeks early but was not diagnosed with cerebral palsy until he was 18 months old.

The youngster started showing interest in taking on a triathlon after his father Jonathan Matthews (47), who started pushing him around a 5km course at a weekly Park Run event. Jonathan then decided to adapt a walking frame so that Bailey could get around the course himself.

One day the kid told his dad that he wanted to take on a triathlon. So, he started training on a bike fitted with special stabilisers and started swimming in a local lake.

The proud father said: “The majority of what he does is self-propelled. He sets his own goals when he is swimming and says “I am going to do x amount of meters today

The 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. The Castle Howard Triathlon is a very difficult, rough course, there is no way in the world he could do it unaided, because of how undulating and uneven the ground was. 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.

8 with Cerebral Palsy finishing Triathlon Bailey Matthews

The response of the spectators was overwhelming, he came last but everyone was waiting for him, which they didn’t have to.

Proud mother explained how determined Bailey is: “If he wants to do something he will find a way to do it, even if it is not the conventional way.

What other children take for granted, he struggle with things like getting dressed. Such details are something that we do not value that much but is something huge for people with special needs. “Every day things are more difficult for him, but he never lets it bother him. He doesn’t see himself as different to anyone else” were great inspirational words of the youngster’s mum. That sure is admirable to see that Bailey has a perfect mentality and wants more.

8 with Cerebral Palsy finishing Triathlon

We have always tried to make sure that if there is something he wants to do, there is no such word as “CAN’T” added Ms. Hardcastle. Everybody, KEEP THAT EXPRESSION and learn from that.

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“.

This event sure made a huge social impact and Bailey sure is worth every minute of fame. To me, from now on, Bailey Matthews is my new inspiration and motivator. A kid with cerebral palsy fights to finish a triathlon, and majority of us just complain about how difficult it is to do any exercise? Take this youngster, of only 8 years old, as an example to follow and remember, there is no such word as “CAN’T”!!!


Meelis Paloson

Meelis Paloson

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I'm the Founder of Originally I'm from a tiny country called Estonia but I have been living in Barcelona, Spain since summer 2004.

I'm passionate about social media, new technologies, gadgets, business development, healthy cooking, fitness, music and travel. I like spending time walking around and getting inspiration.
Meelis Paloson