A team of islanders taking on a virtual 20k sporting challenge are set to feature in a Channel 4 documentary as part of a superhero-themed disability sport series.
Made up of young people from the Jersey Youth Service Inclusion Project, Beresford Street Kitchen and Jersey Mencap, the 'Jersey Ninjas' are one of six teams due to feature on the programme.
They will be captained by former Team GB Paralympic gold medallist Liz Johnson as they work towards a 20km distance.
Move More Jersey, a local project to encourage islanders to be more active, has teamed up with the Superhero Challenge to celebrate Jersey’s very own superheroes.
The Superhero Challenge runs a number of mass-participation sports events where people with disabilities “everyday superheroes” – call the shots and don’t have to worry about cut-off times or equipment restrictions. In collaboration with Marvel, the challenge hopes to help people find their inner superpower.
Pictured: Paralympic gold medallist Liz Johnson is the Jersey team's captain.
This summer, they’re only running their ‘At Home Superheroes’ virtual event.
Between now and 15 July, the challenge is calling for people of all abilities to complete a 20km distance; completed anywhere (in the living room, garden, neighbourhood) and in any way (walking, running, pushing, wheeling).
Made up of Harry de Gruchy, Natasha Bratch, Jessica Vieira, Matt Harmon and Rachel Christie, the Jersey Ninjas’ progress will be documented on a special Channel 4 programme which will be aired on 15 August this year.
Head of Move More Jersey, Cirsty de Gruchy, said that it was a personal connection that motivated her to bring the Superhero Series to the island.
“I wanted to bring the Superhero Series to Jersey because of the way it has changed my son’s life. Training for the triathlon in 2018 got Harry engaged with running, swimming and cycling and the event itself gave him a new confidence in his own abilities – he came home a different child!
“Since then we have taken part in Winter Wonderwheels (2018) and now the Superhero Tri in 2020 – we’re always talking about our superhero adventures! It is a huge commitment to travel to the UK for the events, especially with all the associated specialist kit that is involved and so very few islanders have has the opportunity to take part in the Superhero Series until now.”
Pictured: Cirsty and Harry de Gruchy.
However, Cirsty explained that now the series is holding more challenges online due to the covid crisis, more islanders can get involved.
She went on: “This virtual Superhero challenge is the perfect opportunity for islanders to become part of the amazing Superhero family without having to leave the island. The flexibility of the format means that regardless of people’s abilities, all can be involved.”
Move More Jersey is now encouraging local disability charities to get involved with the At Home Superheroes challenge and, starting this week, have organised a weekly walk and multi-sport activity session in a park.
Sophia Warner, Founder of the Superhero Series said: “We are absolutely delighted to see Move More Jersey get behind our At Home Superheroes event. Jersey is an amazing island with so many opportunities for people to get active. It’s great to have the ‘Jersey Ninjas’ team captained by our celebrity Liz Johnson taking part, and we hope they will inspire others to get involved and unlock their inner superpower.
“Marvel will be bringing the epic energy of its iconic superhero characters to participants’ homes and neighbourhoods through lots of downloadable games, signs and dressing up ideas to help participants to feel like a true superhero.”
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