A 9-year-old fundraiser has been praised for his efforts to raise money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice for the second time this year by attempting to complete a triathlon challenge.
Shay O’Grady, from Ecclesfield, raised £10,000 earlier this year and now has decided to take on another challenge to raise money for the hospice which cares for his cousin, Evie-Mae, who suffers from chromosome 2q deletion.
Gail Parkin, Community Fundraiser at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “Shay is nothing short of inspirational and we’re all incredibly proud of him here at Bluebell Wood.
“His epic walk from the hospice to Hillsborough earlier this year really captured people’s hearts and raised a phenomenal sum for Bluebell Wood.
“Now he’s made an incredible start to his epic triathlon and we’ll be behind him every step of the way.”
Shay has now made the decision to swim the distance between Sheffield’s two major football stadiums before walking from Hillsborough to Barnsley FC’s stadium and tandem cycling the 13.5 miles back.
He has completed six out of 20 weeks of swimming 12 lengths a week and will be attempting the walk and cycle on 8 February.
Shay said: “I was watching TV once, and I saw someone doing a triathlon and I said to my dad I want to do a triathlon. I want to do what he’s doing.
“My cousin, Evie, goes to Bluebell Wood so I just want to raise some money for them, her and her friends.”
The family have plans for more fundraising, including a small football tournament and an auction and they have been invited to carry out a collection at Hallam FC’s next football match.
Thanks to @kieranlee1988 @WestwoodKeiren @LiamJPalmer @BullenFootball @CameronDawson77 @GarryMonk for all signing the ball for shay to raise funds for @BluebellWoodCH ⚽️#BetterTogether #ShaysTriathlon https://t.co/LFaQ0sb04O pic.twitter.com/jWdDe6jeOC
— Shays Triathlon (@ShaysTriathlon) October 26, 2019
Shay’s dad, Jason O’Grady, said: “You just try to encourage them as a dad and as a mum. You encourage what they say and help them do what they want to do.”
Earlier this year, the avid Sheffield Wednesday supporter was surprised by Chairman, Dejphon Chansiri, when he announced to the stadium that he would double the £5000 that Shay had raised by completing a 16-mile walk.
Shay, who plays for Wisewood Juniors FC, was invited on the pitch and to meet players after sending a letter to the chairman asking for his support.
“I’m best friends with two Wednesday players, Kieran Lee and Barry Bannan. I always call him ‘Bazza’. I’m allowed to call him Bazza,” he said.
Donations to Shay’s Triathlon can be sent here.