Inspirational Bailey Matthews – who has cerebral palsy and won hearts all over the country as he tackled a triathlon last year – has returned to the scene of his triumph to cross the finish line seven minutes faster.
Nine-year-old Bailey, from Worksop, reached the end of the race at Castle Howard in York with a smile on his face, flanked by his dad, as he showed just how determined he is not to let his disability impact what he can achieve.
The youngster, who has continued to urge everyone to #BemoreBailey, completed the children’s triathlon, of a 100-metre swim, four-kilometre bike ride and 1.3km run, in one hour and 20 minutes.
Johnathan Matthews, Bailey’s dad, said: “I’m so proud of him – it was great to be back.
“He’s given this 100 per cent. He never talks or brags about it, he never even mentions it, he just gets on with life and working hard to be a great triathlete.
“I don’t think he fully understands just what an achievement it is.”
Julie Matthews, Bailey’s mum, said: “It’s a year since Bailey completed the Castle Howard triathlon and I can’t believe how much our lives have changed since then.
“It’s amazing to see how many children he’s inspired and we’re so proud of the amount of people who’s lives he has made a difference to.
“When he did his first triathlon it came off the back of a huge amount of belief, work, training and determination from a lot of people.
His teaching assistant, the people at the Movement Centre at Oswestry, his family, and of course Bailey himself, have all pulled together to support his amazing journey as a triathlete.”
Bailey received global recognition at Castle Howard last year when, with the finish line in sight, he abandoned his walking aid and determinedly made it to the end.
Despite a few tumbles, he refused to give up and reached the end all by himself.
This year he achieved the same finish – pushing away his walking aid to ensure he made it over the line all by himself.
Since last year’s achievements, Bailey has been awarded a Pride of Britain Award, the BBC sports personality of the year Helen Rollason award and the Guadian’s child of courage award. He has also met lots of his heroes, including David Beckham.