2 August 2018Jonnie Peacock surprises wheelchair racing lucky teenager
THE sheer tenacity of one Stafford sporting Superhero has not gone unnoticed, with Strictly Come Dancing star Jonnie Peacock rewarding her progress in wheelchair racing.
Danielle Nagata received the surprise of a lifetime this week when the double Paralympic champion revealed she'd been chosen as part of his team npower for the Superhero Tri - the only sports series dedicated to the UK’s 13.3 million people with disabilities and long-term injuries.
The 13-year-old has been diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Hydrochepalus, necessitating back and ankle surgery as well as regular hospital visits.
But in sheer defiance of her disability Nagata has competed in the London Mini Marathon, alongside events in Manchester and recently her first-ever 100m race on track.
Mother Ali said: “The whole family are really proud of the way Danielle approaches life given the different challenges she’s faced.
“Competing in events like the Superhero Tri help her self-esteem and give her something to aim for, rather than just doing sport for fitness.
“It’s great as a parent to see how well she’s doing how much she enjoys it – it’s fantastic, as well, that she is learning to be part of a team.
“Jonnie is one of her heroes, so the chance to be in his team is a massive surprise and I don’t think it has sunk in for her yet.”
The teenager attends Blessed William Howard School, where the P.E department actively support her external training and shape her timetable around wheelchair racing training.
Peacock teamed up with Superhero Series partner npower to lead a surprise training day for Danielle and two other budding para athletes, aged from 6 to 14, and share some tips ahead of the Superhero Tri event at Dorney Lake, Windsor on 18 August.
Gregory discovered she was one of the lucky winners when the Paralympic GB star magically appeared to congratulate them, before giving a team talk as they prepared for the swim, cycle and run/push stages of the triathlon.
“It’s been really good to meet Jonnie,” she said. “He was easy to talk to and kept telling us how excited he was for the Superhero Tri event.
“I’ve just started competing in wheelchair racing, it’s something I enjoy and want to keep going with.
“I love sport in general, I also do horse-riding which I started two years ago and do in Stafford.”
Peacock will lead Team npower as a celebrity team captain, alongside 30 celebrity skippers including Last Leg host and comedian Adam Hills and six-time Paralympic champion David Weir.
“The kids we’ve chosen are positive people who want to push themselves and have a great outlook on life,” said the sprinter. I have loved meeting them today and hearing about their Super Powers. They are absolute stars with incredible stories and will make a brilliant team.
“They might have had a tough experience of life and need a bit of a boost, but their personalities shine through and an event like this can make a big difference.
“Superhero Tri is brilliant - there’s such a good vibe. It’s completely inclusive of all individuals and everyone can just get involved and have fun. There are no rules and however you need to get around the course that’s absolutely fine.”
Over 1,700 participants took part in the 2017 Superhero Tri, with more than 2,000 already having signed up for this year’s event. Superhero Series gives everyone with disabilities, from total beginners through to elite athletes, the chance to find their inner super power and achieve an inspirational goal. Participants can be as competitive as they like but the priority is on having fun. Places are still available through firstname.lastname@example.org
Team npower captain Jonnie Peacock shows the power of support with an unforgettable surprise training day for his teammates ahead of the Superhero Tri on 18th August.