Father and son join forces for Dubai triathlon to show sport has no barriers


A father-and-son team will embark on a custom-made triathlon in Dubai on Saturday.

Nick Watson, 51, and his son Rio, 17, will hope to complete a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike ride and 21km run in an event that has been given the title of Rio’s Run.

Saturday’s unique triathlon has been organised to show that a sporting chance should be open to all and there is no hurdle that cannot be overcome.

Rio has a rare chromosone disorder which affects his motor skills.

Due to Rio’s disabilities, his father will be pulling him in a kayak during the swim and a specially designed bicycle will be used to sit both of them during the bike ride section.

“Our goal has always been inclusion and with Rio’s Race we want to show that sport has no barriers; it is one platform where people of all backgrounds and abilities can be involved,” said Mr Watson.

They aim to complete the middle-distance triathlon with Mr Watson pushing his son for the final run in a specialised chair.

Mr Watson is the driving force behind Team AngelWolf, a non-profit organisation set up to encourage people to be more inclusive of those with disabilities and to embrace their own health.

Rio and his father will kick off their triathlon on Saturday morning opposite Dubai’s Umm Sequim Park at 6.30am.

They aim to arrive at the Al Qudra cycle track by 8.30am and then finish off opposite Umm Sequim Park by 1.30pm for the final 21km run.

The teenager is no stranger to triathlons, having completed 17 of them, including five Ironman events since he was 11-years-old.

Mr Watson urged members of the public to come along and support them and even take part if they wished.

“Rio loves being cheered on by people supporting and motivating him, and he also loves company whilst doing his sport,” he said.

“I hope we encourage many people to support us this Saturday.

“Together, we can create a more inclusive, kinder and healthier global community.”

Published: April 2, 2021 08:00 AM