This Saturday, 5 June, the Williams family from Hatfield in Hertfordshire will be getting behind their 12-year-old son who will be leading the inaugural 2k Superhero Toddle in the stunning grounds of Haileybury as part of a spectacular family fun day charity fundraiser in aid of The Muscle Help Foundation (MHF).
The event includes a 10k run, a Guinness World Record attempt (three-legged race) multiple venues across UK in partnership with National Family Week, an opportunity to meet ‘Sarrie the Camel’, the mascot for Saracens Rugby Club and also Wells Sports Foundation Ambassador, and 16-year-old Jodie Williams who is the first girl to achieve a World Youth Championships 100 metres and 200 metres sprint double.
Jordan (no relation other than their respective passion in feeling the need for speed) will be meeting Jodie in the afternoon for a special photo-shoot that will see Jordan assume the position in his new Ferrari-red Balder F290 powerchair alongside Jodie who will line up on her running blocks. The visible link between muscles, movement and sport is powerful – both are focused on speed in different ways – whilst Jodie’s muscles are fine-tuned, Jordan’s are wasting away as a result of having the most severe form of the debilitating muscle wasting disease known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Despite this, he’s obsessed with fast cars, especially Ferraris, and freely admits to being a confirmed petrol-head.
In October 2009, the Hertfordshire-based charity arranged for Jordan, his younger sister Ffallon and elder brother Stephen, to travel from their home in Hatfield to the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall in a super-charged jet-black Ferrari 612 Scaglietti F1, the flagship of the Ferrari range.
quot;Jordan loves Ferraris," explained his mum, Lyn. "When the 6.0 litre V12 sports car pulled up into the family’s driveway, combined with the sound of the 540bhp engine, Jordan’s expression said it all – it was a priceless moment!" Suffice to say that all families on the Muscle Warriors Haileybury Family Fun Day Spectacular will be rooting for Jordan. Also on the start line will be Hertfordshire’s polar hero, Michael McGrath (aka the Chief Muscle Warrior and co-founder of The Muscle Help Foundation), the only disabled person in the world to have successfully led expeditions to both the North and South Poles. Michael also has muscular dystrophy.
As an official partner, MHF is showing its direct support of National Family Week and specifically the Family Week Sports Day theme by organising this unique fundraising event. "The charity is delighted to show its support of National Family Week in this way – as a small but growing charity, we provide hope, courage, inner strength and joy to children and young people with the muscle wasting disease Muscular Dystrophy and their families by delivering unforgettable experiences called Muscle Dreams. We recognise the love and vital support given unconditionally by so many incredible families like the Williams’ family, many of whom have a severely diminished quality of life as a result of having to fight every single day in living and coping with a family member diagnosed with this most cruel and in the most severe cases, life-limiting disease," said McGrath.
"Throughout Hertfordshire and the neighbouring counties and regardless of age or ability, this family event promises something for all. We are encouraging all families to actively participate, get involved and have some fun," added McGrath.
Muscular Dystrophy is the single biggest genetic killer of children in our world today. With some 75,000 UK sufferers being robbed of their mobility, independence and finally for those with the most severe form known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) their lives, the charity delivers experiences for people directly affected by this debilitating disease.
Muscle Warriors are those generous-hearted people who use for example the power of sport to engage, inspire and raise vital funds – Muscle Warriors run across deserts, do triathlons as well as events called GRIM, climb mountains and participate in all sorts of crazy fundraising activities to not only enable Muscle Dreams™ to happen but also tie their legs together and participate in a rather unique Guinness World Record attempt.
"With the support of club runners, families and businesses from across the region, we’re urging everyone to help us blast past our goal of £10,000 by donating online via the events dedicated fundraising webpage – in so doing, we hope to be able to move a little closer towards our wider vision of delivering in time, 657 Muscle Dreams – the number of muscles in the human body", said McGrath.
As well as welcoming everyone to the event, Michael and Jordan will lead off the 2k Superhero Toddle in their hi-tech "chariots", sporting the new Muscle Warrior brand that will also be launched on the day in t-shirt and wristband form available for purchase with all proceeds going to the charity. While the serious runners are slogging around the 10k course, youngsters accompanied by mums, dads, grannies and granddads of all abilities will be toddling or in Michael’s and Jordan’s case powering around the 2k course, taking in the stunning sights of Haileybury including the spectacular quad, the largest academic quadrangle in the UK.
In addition to the serious business of running, other entertainment and activities on the day will include a climbing wall, a soccer academy, archery, a small fun fair, face-painters and access to the School’s indoor swimming pool, a special teddy bear’s picnic, the opportunity to get on court with the Legends Tennis coaching team, and the Paralympic non-contact sport of Boccia (for those who require a wheelchair because of physical disability) that relies on skill and subtlety, rather than size, speed or muscle strength.