Challenge 75 started with a simple statistic that across the UK there are an estimated 75,000 young wheelchair users. Whizz-Kidz wanted to find a way to both support and celebrate these amazing young people and from this idea Challenge 75 was born.
Last year, the charity held the first event in London’s Olympic Park, which saw families of both wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users come together to take on the chip-timed challenge. Participants completed as many laps as they can around a 400m track in 75 minutes.
Sadly, the public event for 2020 has been cancelled due to Covid-19, but the charity has now launched a UK wide event that anyone can enter from anywhere in the UK for the month of August.
Paula McGoveney, Head of Public Fundraising at Whizz-Kidz, said: “We are very excited to bring back Challenge 75 this year, it’s unfortunate to have to cancel our brilliant Olympic Park event, but launching Challenge 75 ‘Your Own Way’ gives us an opportunity to be even bigger and better!
“Challenge 75 is all about setting your own challenges, whether you jog, run, walk or push your chair. We want to see people all over the UK come together to help us support even more young wheelchair users. If you can, and following government guidelines, simply pick a challenge based on the number 75 and get fundraising. We may not be together physically but we will celebrate together knowing that every effort makes such a big difference!”
Challenge 75 - Your Own Way, the new addition launched for this year means anyone around the UK can sign up and take on a 75-related challenge throughout the month of August: running for 75 miles for the month, cycling 75 miles, 75,000 steps during the month or 75 press-ups every day - it's up to you to do it your way!
Competitors will receive:
- A Whizz-Kidz t-shirt
- A bespoke Challenge 75 Medal when you finish your 75-related challenge and raise the fundraising target (£75)
- If you raise £100 or more you get a Whizz-Kidz branded powerbank!
One of the first competitors to sign up for the event after taking part last year is the family of McKenzie O’Reilly, who also took on the recent 2.6 Challenge for the charity.
McKenzie loves being out and about, going swimming, playing wheelchair tennis and wheelchair rugby. His lightweight wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz, who provide disabled children with the essential wheelchairs and other mobility equipment they need, helps him keep up with his friends and stay active.
McKenzie and his family signed up to Whizz-Kidz’s Challenge 75 and rose to the challenge as a family: McKenzie’s mum, Kerry, said: “It was really tough for McKenzie but he kept going for the full 75 minutes. Everybody was doing it at their own pace, not feeling pressured by time, distance or speed and getting loads of encouragement from the cheerers.
“Challenge 75 is all about ability not disability, it’s rare to find such an inclusive event, it didn’t matter how many laps you did you just set your own target at your own pace. I would say to other parents it’s a really good opportunity to take part as a family&rdquo McKenzie said: “I wanted to do Challenge 75 to help other boys and girls like me. The best bit was crossing the finish line! I was really excited about how well I’d done and could show my medal to my friends at school!”
For more information, and to sign up to Challenge 75, go to www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/challenge_75 There is also a special Facebook Group that Challenge 75 people can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/580987882814747/
Thank-you to Showtime Photo Booth who supported the cancelled Challenge 75 London 2020 Event.