Team Angel Wolf, a special family with a special mission, has announced its participation in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on 22nd of January, 2016. Team AngelWolf’s forces are built by Nick and Delphine Watson (the parents), Rio (their Angel - 12 years old) and Tia aka Little Wolf (9 years old). Rio, who has severe special needs, will be the youngest athlete to have participated in this event and he may even be the first athlete to give the biggest smile ever, when he crosses the finish line. The aspiring family is striving to raise the awareness regionally and internationally about the importance of “inclusion” of special needs children in sports and other lifestyle activities without drawing lines and restrictions.
“Team AngelWolf is really honored and excited to have been invited to participate in the Dubai Marathon. This is a professionally organised race - in which we have participated as independent runners, however, without Rio. Therefore, it is wonderful that Rio has been given the opportunity to experience such a race, one that he would never be able to do independently”, reveals Nick Watson, TeamAngelWolf’s co-founder and Rio’s father.
Rio Watson has severe special needs and was diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder called ‘1q44 deletion denovo syndrome’. The implications of this condition involve: seizures, non-verbal, severe learning disabilities, gross/fine motor skills disabilities, sensory integration dysfunction, incontinence, amongst many other difficulties.
Nick Watson has a professional background in health and fitness for over 19 years. He discovered his passion for sports when he was sixteen years old and participated in his first triathlon. From then onwards, Nick has been an active participant in several sporting events in Dubai which involved him in cycling, swimming and running.
For the event organizers, their participation clearly resonates with the marathon’s ethos, especially in the Olympic year: of lighting the torch and paving the way to encourage the inclusion and integration of people with special needs into the society and giving them a shot at equal opportunity.
By participating in this grueling marathon, Nick Watson and his 12 –year old son Rio will lend new definition and promise to the phrase: nothing is impossible in the face of courage. This is further echoed in the words of Peter Connerton, Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon Event Director: “An individual who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing. Nick and Rio are two individuals that are entirely undeterred by words such as obstacles or challenges. We are more than honored to have a family with inspiring ideals as Team AngelWolf in our event. Their perseverance and drive to succeed is inspirational to us all”.