The SCI Tri Challenge

Duration: July - August
Accessibility: Fully Accessible

Sam, Sarah and Andrew smiling while wearing their SCI Tri Challenge t-shirts

Sam, Sarah and Andrew are launching the first SCI Tri Challenge

What is the challenge?

The SCI TRI Challenge is a swim/cycle/run challenge like a triathlon. However, it is designed to be accessible to as many people as possible from the young to the older to the not-very-fit-but-willing to the super fit. Therefore, individuals can take part either by doing all three elements themselves or by forming a team with one or two friends so that the three elements are covered between them.

The ethos of the challenge is that the distances covered should be a challenge for the individual taking part and, therefore, are variable rather than setting one goal for everyone. There are three suggested options – the Mini, the Midi and the Maxi – there is also a MAKE YOUR OWN option where the team or individual determines their own distances to ensure that the challenge is right for them.

– 1km walk/run/wheel
– 5km cycle or para-cycle
– 50 length swim

– 5km walk/run/wheel
– 50km cycle/para-cycle
– 500 length swim

-10km walk/run/wheel
-100km cycle or para-cycle
-1000 length swim


We are asking people to take on the challenge over July and August with those taking part arranging to complete the distances in the three disciplines as and when, and where they can.

Why are we doing it?

This challenge is being organised by Sarah Dickinson whose son Sam was injured in a car accident in 2009 at the age of 17. An accident which left Sam with a broken neck and therefore with tetraplegia – paralysis affecting all four of his limbs. In the moments it took for the car to skid on black ice, leave the carriageway and rollover, Sam’s life was changed.

The experiences Sam and his family have gone through have meant that they have had to find new ways to have fun together, especially when doing activities as a family.  This motivated Sarah to come up with the SCI Tri Challenge, a completely accessible triathlon that anyone can participate in to get healthy and active. You can more about the story behind the SCI Tri Challenge here.

“The event is about being part of something. It’s for everyone to get involved with, regardless of ability. It‘s not how far you go or how fast you do it that matters but setting distances that challenge you which, when done, will make you feel brilliant about what you have achieved.”

Whether it was irreversibly changed as far as the injury goes or not depends on the research of those working in this field. The work of Spinal Research is critical.

Meanwhile living well with an injury depends on having the right support to rebuild confidence and be enabled to live as fully and independently as possible.

Sam adapted well to his injury and now lives an active and independent life. However, not everyone makes the transition as easily as Sam did but everyone with a spinal cord injury can be helped to do so through Back Up and Aspire.

All three charities are different and make a difference.  All donations, including Gift Aid, will be split evenly between them. Whether you can give a little or a lot, every donation makes a difference and helps. We are hugely grateful for it.


If you would like to take part in this challenge or would like more information, please get in touch with our fundraising team or call on 0208 875 1805.