One little girl inspires new generation of weekend fitness warriors
Friends, family and colleagues get off the couch and into the great outdoors to help fund vital equipment for kids with cerebral palsy
A little girl from Gladesville who has cerebral palsy is inspiring a new generation of weekend fitness warriors prepared to push themselves to the limit to help others in need.
6-year-old Lara Wisemantel is the inspiration for a growing number of people signing up as part of Team Lala for Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s 20/twenty Challenge.
Now in its 11th year, the 20/twenty Challenge sees teams of four compete in a ‘triathlon like’ event around Sydney’s spectacular harbour coastline. Competitors tackle a 2km swim, a 20km walk and a 3km kayak before crossing the finish line at Clontarf.
Lara’s mum Jacqui Wisemantel has been participating in the event with family and friends since 2010.
‘It has been so humbling to see the number of teams registering for the 20/twenty Challenge under Team Lala grow each year’, Jacqui said.
‘Our friends, family and work colleagues have embraced this event as way to really challenge themselves physically, but also be a part of something truly life changing for kids with cerebral palsy.
‘This event has now raised close to $4.5 million which has been used to buy some 2,000 pieces of equipment like wheelchairs, walking frames and communication devices for kids with cerebral palsy.
‘Our teams have contributed more than $220,000 to that total, and there is nothing more rewarding than knowing we have been directly involved in helping other children and families in need.’
James Hodgkinson co-founded the event with Ross Ellice-Flint after being inspired by his nephew Alex who has cerebral palsy.
An estimated 200 people will take part in the 11th annual 20/twenty Challenge on Sunday 6th April, starting at Shelly Beach Manly. Macquarie Group Foundation is once again sponsoring the event.
Jacqui Wisemantel says 20/twenty is a great way for Sydneysiders to get active and really make a difference to a child’s life.
‘It is friendly competition with a serious purpose and I’d encourage people to register and come along and join in the fun’, Jacqui said. ‘Team Lala is open to new members, or you can get three friends together and form your own team of four.
‘Lara will be waiting us all at the finish line with a smile that says thank you on behalf of all kids with cerebral palsy.’
Each team has a fundraising target of $8,000 to help reduce waiting lists for equipment. To register a team go to www.20twentychallenge.org.au
Released on 2 Apr 2014