Marvel has been unveiled as the headline sponsor of the Superhero Tri, which forms part of the Superhero Series, a mass-participation sports series for people with disabilities.
This year’s edition of the family-friendly event will be held on 17th August at Dorney Lake, the rowing and canoe sprint venue during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Participants will be able to compete in a solo or team challenge.
Some 1,500 people, aged between three and 81, have already signed up to compete, with more spaces available. As part as Marvel’s sponsorship of the event, superhero characters will be on hand to tell stories and support participants.
Competitors are encouraged to use any method of support required to compete the Superhero Tri, with floats, boats and adaptive bikes all permitted on the course. Participants and their ‘sidekicks’ – non-disabled family and friends – are also encouraged to dress up as their favourite superhero.
Marvel initiatives will include giant LEGO models of Thor’s Hammer, Captain America’s shield, the Infinity Gauntlet, and inspirational quotes from Captain Marvel and Spider-Man. Performers from Marvel Universe LIVE, a live-action arena spectacular featuring 25 Marvel superheroes and villains, will lead participants’ ‘Power Up’ session ahead of the race.
A celebrity race will also be incorporated into the event, with DJ and journalist Jordan Jarrett-Bryan, Paralympic equestrian champion Sophie Christiansen, Invictus Games athlete JJ Chalmers, Paralympian and Wimbledon doubles champion Alfie Hewitt, and eight-time London Marathon winner and six-time Paralympic champion David Weir all set to be involved.
Marvel’s sponsorship of the event forms part of its and Disney UK’s wider Healthy Living initiative, which seeks to use the power of popular characters to inspire children and families to be more active.
“There are more than 13 million people with disabilities in the UK, but only around one in eight regularly take part in sport,” Marianthi O’Dwyer, Vice-President of Healthy Living UK at The Walt Disney Company, said.
“The Superhero Series aims to reduce barriers to entry into disabled sport, offering a great opportunity for families in the disabled community across the country to come together, get active and most of all, have fun. Marvel stories are all about ordinary humans finding their inner power, so we’re delighted to play a role in this year’s event and help make the day even more epic and inspiring for everyone involved.”
The Superhero Series was founded and is run by Paralympian Sophia Warner. Channel 4 is set to film at this year’s Superhero Tri, with Clare Balding to host an hour-long programme that will air on 31st August.