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  • Southside

Young Southsider takes on 21km walking challenge for her sister

Friday, 24th August, 2018 8:00am
Young Southsider takes on 21km walking challenge for her sister

Lydia often accompanies Sophie to The Down Syndrome Centre where they have made some great friends.

Young Southsider takes on 21km walking challenge for her sister

Lydia often accompanies Sophie to The Down Syndrome Centre where they have made some great friends.

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A VERY special Southside girl is getting ready to walk 21km for her younger sister.

Last year, Lydia Corley was an inspiration to all when she completed Challenge 21, a coastal walk from Booterstown to Howth in aid of The Down Syndrome Centre.

Lydia also wanted to promote the message that her sister Sophie (7) who has Down syndrome, is just like everyone else.

As she prepares for year two of Challenge 21 Lydia is asking you to rise to the challenge and walk, jog or run the 21km from Booterstown to Howth on September 16.

When asked about training for the event Lydia revealed: “I do gymnastics, hockey, dancing and singing and Gaelic and I cycle and go out on my bike a bit but I didn’t really train – I just did it.

“The next day my Mum told me to sit on the couch but weirdly I was full of energy.”

Last year, Lydia, who was accompanied by her mum Sinead, said she passed the time chatting with some friends, enjoying the refreshment pit stop in Fairview Park which included a quick five minute go in the playground before she set off on the final stretch.

“Mum kept saying to me ‘are you sure you don’t want me to ring Daddy? (for a lift)’ – I think she was trying to get rid of me,” Lydia laughed.

And how did she feel when she crossed the finish line? “Brilliant! And then that night we went down to my cousins and they were all saying ‘Oh My God.”

The Down Syndrome Centre, based in Cabinteely, provides a wide range of early intervention services to children with Down syndrome and lots of supports and services to families. Lydia often accompanies her sister Sophie to Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy sessions at The Down Syndrome Centre and has made some great friends there.

“I have a gang of friends – we’re all in different schools – but the good thing is Sophie had her birthday last year and she invited all of her friends and all their brothers and sisters came, so we got to hang out,” Lydia added.

Emma Murphy, Fundraising Manager at The Down Syndrome Centre said: “Challenge 21 promises to be a fantastic day out with entertainment, music, refreshments and many surprises along the way.

“We are hoping to raise €75,000 which will go directly into the provision of early intervention services for children with Down syndrome. This a great opportunity to dust off the runners, increase fitness levels and make the most of those last days of summer.”

When asked if Sophie would like to do Challenge 21 with her this year Lydia replied, laughing: “She does not like walking. She wouldn’t walk 1km but I’m going to do it. I have my baby cousin’s Christening the day before on the Saturday and then Challenge 21 on the Sunday.”

Challenge 21 takes place on Sunday, September 16 at 10 am from Booterstown DART Station.

For more information about the event contact The Down Syndrome Centre at info@downsyndromecentre.ie or on (01) 6618000.

Lydia and Sophie are very close and Lydia also wanted to promote the message that her sister, who has Down syndrome, is just like everyone else.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here