Former Solihull Businessman Takes Up The Challenge On 17 August
On Saturday 17 August, a motorcyclist from Solihull left brain damaged and unable to walk following a horror crash in 2009, will continue on his remarkable road to recovery, swapping horsepower for pedal power in the Superhero Series Triathlon at Dorney Lake, Windsor.
Shane Booth sustained life-threatening injuries and was in a coma for several weeks, after a tractor pulled in out in front of his bike while on holiday in Germany. Now, Shane hopes to challenge himself and inspire others with disabilities to take up sports as part of the Irwin Mitchell Don’t Quit, Do It campaign, starting with the 2019 Superhero Tri Powered by Marvel.
The Superhero Tri Powered by Marvel is the UK’s only mass-participation sports series dedicated to people with disabilities - an event for everyday superheroes, with no worries about cut-off times or equipment restrictions. Participants can do it all themselves or team up with sidekicks in the form disabled and able-bodied family and friends to assist them.
Shane has teamed up with his lawyers at Irwin Mitchell with paralegal Charisse Tapang, completing the run and swim sections while Shane completes the cycling. In addition to partnering with the event, Irwin Mitchell is sending its biggest number of competitors yet, with 22 heroes across six teams comprised of clients and staff, on a mission to raise awareness of disability sports.
Irwin Mitchell’s specialist International Personal Injury team secured a multi-million pound settlement for Shane and the firm’s Court of Protection team is managing the funds on his behalf, to ensure that they last for the rest of his life and pay for the vital ongoing care and rehabilitation programme he needs.
Shane’s rehabilitation has proceeded to such an extent that he can now talk, walk with a stick and manage much of his personal care. Forced to give up his role as a sales director of IBM as a result of his injuries; Shane now has his own inspirational speaker business and ‘The Man That Speaks’, is in no doubt of the role sport has played in helping rebuild his life.
Speaking ahead of the Superhero Tri Powered by Marvel, Shane said: “Prior to the accident, I ran the London Marathon and swam for Calderdale County, so the Superhero Series is a step towards picking up that side of my life. It would be nice to complete all the stages, but given I cycled for England, the bike ride was made for me and Charisse is completing the other two.
“Coming to terms with how my life had changed has been difficult. I’d gone from being really active, enjoying my job, sport and travelling, to being hoisted out of bed and wheelchair reliant when I went out. But then I thought, I’m not putting my life on hold. I was determined to try and overcome my injuries.
“I’m living proof of the statement, ‘Don’t Quit, Do It’ and while I am where I am today because of the grit and determination to succeed which is part of my personality, I hope my story persuades others not to quit. By being able to do as much or as a little as you like, the Superhero Tri is a great place for people with disabilities to start realising their potential.”
Charisse Tapang, part of the clinical negligence team at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “Shane is a truly inspirational figure in the way that he has worked to overcome his injuries and I’m proud to be taking part in the Triathlon alongside him. Disability sport can be vital in aiding recovery and wellbeing and together with Shane and our other superhero teams; we are hoping to get this message out to a wider audience. I participated in the Superheroes Triathlon last year and the atmosphere and attitude from both spectators and those who were taking part was only to be admired. I am excited to take part again this year which is meant to be even bigger!”
Over 13 million people in the UK live with a disability, yet only one in eight takes part in regular sport, despite the proven physical and psychological benefits that come from it. The Superhero Tri allows people of all ages and abilities to get involved. Together with Irwin Mitchell, Shane is keen to encourage many more people to take part and give it a try.
The event attracted 1,700 participants and 7,000 spectators in 2017 – numbers that nearly doubled in 2018. With the support of sponsors like Marvel and Irwin Mitchell, plus Channel 4 broadcasting a 60 minute programme on the event presented by Clare Balding, this year is expected to be the biggest yet.