Team Cerebra take part in the Swansea Triathlon


17.05.2018

A team of designers from the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) – a partnership between the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the children’s charity, Cerebra – are looking forward to taking part in the Swansea triathlon that takes place in the city this weekend.

Dr Ross Head and Imogen

As well as embracing the 750 metre swim, the 20k bike ride and the 5k run, the team members are looking forward to being joined by 6 year old Imogen Ashwell-Lewis from Caldicott who on Sunday will take part in her fist ever triathlon as captain of Team CIC.

Imogen has Cerebral Palsy and is taking part in each of the triathlon’s disciplines alongside the team of three designers that work in the Cerebra Innovation Centre which is based at UWTSD’s Alex Building in Swansea.  Dr Ross Head, Director of the centre along with his colleagues, Daniel Cuthbertson and Gerallt Devonald will be pushing/pulling Imogen around the course using some equipment that they’ve designed specifically for taking part in triathlon events.

Two years ago, Ross and the team designed a boat that allowed a young girl – Poppy Jones – to compete in a triathlon.  This year, the team will be using the same boat which Imogen will sit in and be pulled by CIC designer, Dan Cuthbertson.

The three have also adapted a bike trailer allowing Gerallt Devonald to pull Imogen safely behind him and have converted a sprint wheelchair which Ross Head will push to cross the finishing line with Imogen.

Dan Cuthbertson with Imogen

“The Cerebra Innovation Centre Triathlon Team is ready to go!” says Dr Ross Head.

“Captain Imogen is super excited and really looking forward to race day. We have all been training hard, we have had injuries and setbacks - some of us are not as young as we thought! - we’re as fit as we’re going to get.

“The thought of being able to raise awareness of Cerebra and the amazing work they do, and ultimately to allow Imogen to participate when so often she is left, out has really driven us to succeed.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my team here in the Innovation Centre for stepping up and taking on the challenge. We have made some amazing equipment for other people to use, but this year my team agreed to give Imogen an inclusive triathlon experience. Get the ice packs ready- Swansea Tri, here we come!”

The CIC team’s main aim in taking part in the Swansea Triathlon is to raise awareness of the work undertaken by the charity, Cerebra – a national charity based in Carmarthen dedicated to helping families with children with brain conditions discover a better life together. They will also give Imogen the wonderful experience of taking part in such a large-scale event using equipment they’ve designed and altered to enable her to take part.

The team from CIC first met Imogen a few years ago when they designed and made a beautiful tiny wheelchair that allowed her to move around her home and play with her brothers and her toys. The chair gave Imogen the additional independence she needed and a friendship soon developed between and her and the design team which has led to the birth of Team CIC.

The three designers – Ross, Dan and Gerallt – all work tirelessly offering a bespoke product design service for families. Although some equipment is available to buy, it often doesn’t look very nice or suit the requirements of some children.

Ross and the team develop logical, innovative and fun solutions and their designs aim to reduce some of the social stigma attached to disabilities by making not only functional but also beautiful products for amazing young people. Some of their products are ‘one-off’ bespoke designs, others are made in small batches and some are designed with the commercial market in mind. 

The Cerebra Innovation Centre is a collaborative partnership between Cerebra and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David with the team based at the University’s Alex building in Swansea.

For more information on the charity, visit www.cerebra.org.uk

To donate to the team’s Just Giving page, please click here

Gerallt Devonald with Imogen

Further Information

 

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies at UWTSD by contacting sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk / 01267 676908 / 07449 998476