Harry the ‘everyday superhero’ to take part in celebrity triathlon

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Seven-year-old Harry de Gruchy-Wilson will travel to Dorney Lake in Windsor next weekend, when he will unleash his inner superhero as part of the Celebrity Superhero Tri.

The Mont à l’Abbé student was born prematurely with a genetic condition and doctors thought he might never be able to walk or talk.

However, Harry has overcome the odds to become an avid sportsman and will join Paralympic gold medallist Stephanie Slater’s team for the relay event, as well as taking part in the individual sprint triathlon.

His mother, Cirsty de Gruchy, said: ‘I’m very proud of him. He is an incredibly determined child – that is probably why he is here today.

‘He wasn’t given a great start in life and has had so many challenges. We don’t know what the future holds, so we want to harness his enthusiasm while he can still enjoy it.

‘I have been showing him clips of the event on YouTube and he has been getting very excited.

‘He absolutely loves things like this and he is constantly wanting to go either running, cycling or for a swim.’

She added that she went swimming with Harry three or four times a week at the Merton Aquadome and became aware of the Superhero Tri after speaking to ex-servicemen and women visiting the Island thanks to the charity Holidays for Heroes Jersey.

Harry will be using a specially-made bike donated by the Jersey Children’s Charity. The triathlon involves a 150-metre swim, a three-kilometre cycle followed by a one-kilometre run.

Last year, Harry took part in the Children in Need rickshaw challenge – cycling three miles and raising more than £3,000.

Mrs de Gruchy has been helping Harry during training and will be by his side on race day – and she admitted that she was having to keep up with him, rather than the other way round.

Superhero Series founder and Paralympian Sophia Warner said: ‘This year’s event plans to be bigger and better, with more celebrity team captains from sport, entertainment and the military competing alongside everyday superheroes.

‘The competition winners are those who shared their superpowers and why they thought the team captains would choose them.

‘This year we had over 200 applications and we were blown away by the response.

‘I’m really pleased to be able to give 50 everyday superheroes the chance of competing alongside their idols.’

Harry will be raising money for Holidays for Heroes Jersey and anyone wishing to donate can do so via justgiving.com/fundraising/CirstyandHarry.

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