It's not often that you get to meet real life super heroes, but we got the chance in December when Stephan Couture visited Specialised Covers to pick up a cover for his Defender, and bring in a very special chair for patterning...
Stephan's daughter, Chloe, has cerebral palsy and visual impairment, but that does not stop either of them as they (quite literally) race around competing in triathlons together.
The crazy pair train both on land and water, competing in any race they're able to. For the water stage of triathlons, Stephan will swim out in front and pull a kayak on which Chloe sits. For the road, Stephan simultaneously cycles and runs with Chloe in a specially engineered wheelchair.
Stephan and Chloe make the most of life, competing in races and events not only up and down the country, but also further afield with the most recent race taking place this week in Norway where they competed in the Polar Night Half Marathon/10k!
Stephan said: “We had often heard the statement ‘Disabled child equals disabled family’ but we were determined not to let this become true of Chloe or ourselves.”
The super sporty dad and daughter team became adventurous after Stephan and Chloe's mum, Diane, got the largest child carrier they could find to take Chloe out in, after finding wheelchairs extremely limiting in the places they would comfortably go. Stephan, who has always enjoyed active challenges, believed that disability didn't mean a life indoors for Chloe, or their family; it simply meant making changes so Chloe wasn't restricted and could still enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle.
As they became more adventurous, Stephan realised they could raise funds and help other less abled children, and indeed adults, enjoy more that life could offer. In 2012, Stephan and Diane set up Ladybugs Trust, a inspiring charity driven to help children and young adolescents with disabilities and varying special needs, enjoy a wider experience of the world.
And, as Stephan and Chloe took part in more challenges, Chloe's carrier was upgraded for a racing chair meaning they could take part in faster races. “We got Chloe’s racing chair especially engineered for £8,000 so we can get up to good speeds which, isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny to see her enjoyment. We just want to keep going for as long as we can."
And, Chloe's chair is where Specialised Covers comes in. We got chatting to Stephan last year at a show at the NEC and discussed how important Chloe's chair was, and how it was essential to keep it in the best possible condition.
So, in December Stephan visited us in Shipley where our Design Team took patterns in order to create the unique cover for Chloe's extra special chairs.
It was a pleasure to meet Stephan and help create covers that would protect something so important!
Stephan and Chloe have taken part in lots of events, and have even helped create one called the Superhero Triathlon! The triathlon is part of the Superhero Series, the UK’s only disability sports series. The idea is to create fun, full-throttle challenges where people with disabilities call the shots and don’t have to worry about cut-off times or equipment restrictions.
We're proud to support Stephan and Chloe, and cannot wait to take part in an up coming event with them. Watch this space for the next race!!
If you'd like to support Stephan and Chloe as they race around the country, or you'd like to take part in event to help support their fabulous cause yourself, simply visit the websites below (and start traning now if you want to keep up!).
Super Hero Series