Event to celebrate sports opportunities for young people with learning disabilities

Breaking the Barrier Triathlon Athlete Completing the last event Bigbury 9/9/17
(Last Updated On: October 6, 2017)

On Saturday 7th of October there will be an event hosted by Lifeworks on the illustrious Dartington Estate to celebrate 10 years of Breaking the Barrier, which this summer has created over 230 adventure sport opportunities for learning disabled young people and their families throughout Devon and Cornwall. Over its life time the event has enabled over 1000 learning disabled young people to participate.

This year’s Triathlon saw groups as large as 70 take over local sporting venues, enabling the young people to participate in adventure sport activities, many for the first time, and would not have been possible without investment from AVIVA, JLT and The Arts Council and ‘hands on’ support from hundreds of volunteers, local community groups and businesses.

This Saturday’s celebration is for all of the young people, carers, families, sponsors and service providers who made this year’s event so rewarding and successful. The Space studios at Dartington will become home to accessible cycles, young disabled creatives, performers, sports icons and lots of homemade cake as a well done and thank you for the hard work and support for all involved.

Paralympian Triathlete David Hill, supported by the incredible instructors and volunteers that have enabled our adventurers this summer will be in attendance to award certificates to all Breaking the Barrier participants.

Sarah Jane of Lifeworks adds “Lifeworks has been working to make adventure sport accessible to learning disabled young people together with their families for 10 years – we’ve met some amazing people along the way and every event has created extra special stories. This year over 100 volunteers have helped make it happen from Surfers Collectives (the Saunton Hotdoggers) to Community Samba Bands (Energia), from mums braving the elements to fit lots and lots of buoyancy aids to cycling experts, the Velopark Veterans, who helped make our first ever cycle event ever run like clockwork, we want to say thank you to you all.”

Joe Venton of iBounce “The day Lifeworks attended iBounce was incredible, they were well prepared, organised and focused on giving the young people the best possible experience. One session just focused on them as a private hire with another allowing all that had given it a go to stay on in a controlled open session, it was amazing to see the smiles and hear the feedback”

The event allows its young people to thrive. Finlay Webb a veteran of Breaking the Barrier and originally told he would never ride a 2 wheeled bike, this year, cycled with his Dad all the way from Lifeworks base in Dartington to Bigbury for the surfing leg of the triathlon.

“Thank you everyone for your time and energy organising the cycling today – shame about the British weather!! He managed 101 laps and came home very pleased with himself!!”

“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to try out surfing!  He had a fantastic time, was laughing & happy and loved it.”

“Thanks for providing our disabled daughter with a wonderful and unique experience!”

Breaking the Barrier has been a real source of inspiration in its 10 years, encouraging young people to get involved in adventure sport on their own terms and making every activity accessible for families as a whole. Set up to offer unrivaled levels of support from a team dedicated to making sure young people have the best chance to try new things in an environment that caters for every one of their needs.

Because of the response to the triathlon offer this year we are in talks with adventure sport providers to see if we can build on the experience. To stay up to date with progress click here.
To get involved please email: Sarah-JaneLowson@lifeworks-uk.org

The work of a young learning disabled photographer who has documented all of the Breaking the Barrier events this year will be on exhibition on Saturday.


Team account for We Are South Devon.