Updated: Jun 23
Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum
Inclusion is the real winner at the Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum’s Try a Tri event
There were emotional scenes last Sunday at Templemore Sports Complex as a young Benjamin Thompson crossed the finish line of the 2nd annual Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum’s ‘Try a Tri’ event to rapturous applause from a euphoric crowd of supporters.
Benjamin was one of fifty participants who only a few months earlier signed up for the event and dedicated themselves to train for eight weeks towards completing ten laps of a swimming pool, ten miles of cycling and two miles of running that make up the Try a Tri event.
Under the Supervision of Carmel Lynch from the North West Triathlon club, participants were taught
proper swim, cycling, running technique, race transition tips, and nutrition in preparation for event. For many it was the first time they had ever undertaken such a personal fitness challenge.
The Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum’s now annual try a tri event was borne from local triathlete, Danny Quigley’s mammoth ’10 in 10’ triathlon challenge in 2021. Monies raised from the challenge were used to create a ‘Danny Quigley Fund’ aimed at improving mental health provision and well-being in the city and district. The DQ fund has also helped people access such services as one to one counselling.
Aisling Hutton, Mental Health Practitioner at the Health Forum, and Danny Quigley Fund Co-ordinator said that the Health Forum was ‘blown away yet again’ at the level of support they received from the local community.
“Now in its second year, our DQ Fund try a tri event is attracting more and more people who want to take on the fitness challenge,” she said.
“What has been really wonderful to see is people like Benjamin, who decided to challenge himself today and he proved that disability should never be a barrier to fitness, health or well-being. That is exactly what the try a tri event is there for. In completing his try a tri challenge, he has inspired so many of us. I truly believe that the sense of community helped everyone to cross the finish line today and it is so evident that we can achieve so much together when we are working towards a common goal.”
Scores of people took to social media after the event to congratulate Benjamin on his achievement. In preparation for the try a try, Benjamin also benefitted from the fantastic work of Sinead Lynch & Bronagh Mc Namara from ‘Inclusivity Fit’ who personally trained him to have his body and mind ready for the challenge.
Aisling Hutton also said that the Health Forum is already thinking of ways to make next year’s event even better again.
“We have a few ideas up our sleeves of what we can do differently, but what will never change is our belief that community events such as this have the ability to improve all of our collective health & well-being.”