On Saturday (4th May) 20 participants with disabilities took to the race track and completed the Wheeler Way Walk in aid of the charity Team Angus.
The unique race which took place at the University of Essex Sports Arena was organised by Toby Wheeler, a determined and inspiring young man with Cerebral Palsy. The race was a 400m course around the sports arena. It was not a race of time, but an achievement of distance and confidence for everyone who took part. Each of the 20 participants were rewarded with a medal, certificate, goodie bag and T-shirt. The event raised money for Team Angus, set up to support Angus Grocott who also has cerebral palsy. The aim was to give others in the same situation as Toby the chance to partake in a race that accommodated their disabilities.
The event was a great success with smiles all round and a fantastic atmosphere. There were cheers and tears from the spectators and Toby’s team as everyone completed their goal by reaching the finish line. One participant only started walking a few weeks ago and was able to access a walking frame due to the help of Toby’s team. Another participant was supported to get out of his wheelchair and walk to the finish line – sparking tears from Toby’s carer Harriet Renolds who helped him organise the event. The event (along with other fundraising events this year) has helped Toby raise an amazing £6,000 for Team Angus.
Toby Wheeler is an exceptional young man in his twenties who, despite his disability, is determined and focussed with a never-give-up attitude to life. Toby started walking with the aid of a specialised walking frame just a few years ago. He has gained strength and confidence since having spinal and hip surgeries and through hard work and determination, combined with a physiotherapy programme, has gradually increased the distance he can achieve.
Last year Toby decided that he wanted to enter a race but, due to the time Toby would need to complete a race and other environmental factors, there were too many barriers for him to easily enter one of the locally organised park runs. He therefore decided that he would organise his own race. Not only that, he would raise money for charity at the same time. He researched charities and was immediately drawn to Angus’ story and wanted to do something to help.
As Toby’s Solicitor we were delighted to sponsor the event in support of this remarkable young man. Our sponsorship helped Toby with the hire of the venue, event insurance, goodie bags and programmes. Members of our Clinical Negligence team; Steve Webb, Stacey Anderson, Jane Gurden and retired managing partner Julian Wilson, volunteered as stewards on the day of the event.
Head of the TSP Clinical Negligence team Steve Webb said “The event went incredibly well and all of the participants clearly thoroughly enjoyed themselves, as did the spectators. It was genuinely inspiring and a great pleasure for me and my colleagues to be able to both sponsor the race and help out on the day.
The generosity of Toby in wanting to organise this is quite remarkable. It is also very pleasing to know that over six thousand pounds has been raised already for Team Angus.”
You can find out more about Team Angus here.
Photography by Liam Winters