Thousand of triathletes visit on a weekly base de website of www.trikipedia.nl. Most of them are healthy athletes, without handicaps. Every week there are races in the Netherlands and abroad. All those triathletes pay there registration fee (sometimes grumbling, but most of the time they ‘just pay’).
Strange start for an article, but there is a good reason for that.
In the Netherlands there are a few handicapped kids, who aren’t able to sport by themselves (read: participate in a triathlon), but intensely enjoy being a part of the experience of ‘our sport’.
In the Netherlands we met them in a TV-show “Rennen voor twee” (“Run for two”) in Oud Gastel (city in the Netherlands). We also met them as participating teams through the Lighouse Sport Foundation in a lot of races in the Netherlands.
On Saturday 13 august 2016 there was a race on Urk. Team Fleur of the Ligthouse Sport Foundation was participating like team Noah also. In the team of Fleur was angel (=helper) Maryvonne van den Berg.
Fleur and Noah again enjoyed racing, also did their angels in their teams.
However, as what stood next to the intense enjoy of Fleur and Noah, was the “defective wheelchair” of Fleur. In a sort of refined buggy she had to do the run course. A sort of hammock, put it bluntly. Because of this Fleur has to dig deep, something that doesn’t has to be necessary, I think. A good wheelchair would make her experience of a triathlon many times happier and intense.
Peadiatric physical therapist Maryvonne noticed the buggy immediately and the same evening she contacted me. We brainstormed a little about how we could help Fleur together.
Maryvonne wrote a great blog, which she publiced on her website www.sportspinsels.nl.
For a new wheelchair we need an amount of 4000 euro.
What if we, triathletes and all other stakeholders, are able to raise this amount of money so we can buy a good wheelchair for Fleur. This, so she can enjoy her races a lot more!
I am a dreamer, but I think this is possible. Triathletes spent enormous amounts of money registration fee, materials, gadgets and a lot of them have sponsors.
We have sponsored teams in the triathlon. We have companies who make money in triathlon. We have organizations who earn money.
But most important…we have our feelings.
Yvonne van Vlerken, our Dutch flying Blond, believes this is possible. She was the first to donate a great amount for a new wheelchair for Fleur. I know Yvonne very well, and I know she supports more charities like Systic Fybrosis during Challenge Wanaka and the charity in Challenge Roth can count on Yvonne. And Fleur as well! Yvonne will be our ambassador and supports this funding.
Also race organization Amsterdamse Triathlon embraced this idea and are brainstorming how to collect money for ‘A wheelchair for Fleur’ during their events. Wouldn’t it be great if more of these initiatives will follow?
A lot of individual atletes in the Netherlands donated their Gifts. An organisation called “Mannen van Staal” (Men of Steel) donated 1300 Euros . So after 5 days we collected more than 2500 Euros.
What if we put our hands, heads and hearts together and all donate a small amount for the best wheelchair there is for Fleur. That would be fantastic!
Look at the smile of this little girl, how she is enjoying her races despite the inconvenience during the run course in her ‘hammock’. Think about how relaxed that smile would be in the right wheelchair.
Fleur is nine years old and lives in Emmeloord. She’s training with her daddy Wytse since last year January. De first race was in Almere during the Duin Triathlon, that was a 1/16 race. The race on Urk was a sprint distance. Not only Fleur, but also dad Wytse has to be able to finish the race.
Fleur has microcephaly (“small head”) and is multiple handicapped. Fleur operates on the age of a 3-year old, says Wytse, but she is really good in expressing oneself. At each race Fleur can choose wether she wants to walk on her own over the finish line, or that she stays in the buggy.
‘In daily live we use a voice computer, but we can’t take this during a race’, says dad Wytse. ‘I can read Fleur her body language very well. I see when she is having a great time: she will wave, shake hands and I see her beautiful smile a lot. If she doesn’t want something…she will cross her arms and her heads drops. No one can make a mistake about what she means then, haha!’.
My fee for the next race will be donated for the new wheelchair of Fleur!
What if athletes donate a small amount of there registration fee.
What if winners of a race will donate a small amount of there prize.
What if sponsors of a team will donate a small amount of their budget.
What if organizations will donate the entrance fee of one athlete.
What if social media experts can think with us who to make this crowdfunding big.
What if we think out of the box…
Well…I am a dreamer, how great will this be.
All ideas are welcome (contact Maryvonne or trikipedia.nl), more than that we welcome money. The funding didn’t even started yet, but the first donations are in.
There is a bankaccount where you can transfer you donation. Wytse, Fleur her daddy, will manage this part.
BIC code RABONL2U
We live in a strange world nowadays, where people kill each other because of what they think. But there are also moments where we can create a bounding together.
To be continued….