Dubai: Dubai’s Team Angel Wolf are ready to move on to the next stage and go global.
Led by dad Nick Watson — a former Royal Marine and fitness expert — Team Angel Wolf aim at giving his 16-year-old son Rio the feel and thrill of participating in endurance races including marathons and triathlons.
Started some five years ago, Team Angel Wolf have been part of countless endurance races all over the UAE and the region, with Nick joined by wife Delphine and 12-year-old daughter Tia in pulling, pushing, swimming and cycling with Rio in tow. Rio has a rare chromosome disorder, 1q44 deletion syndrome, that affects his speech and motor skills, while making even simple movements such as walking a challenge.
“We’ve been here for 21 years and we’ve told the story here since we started Team Angel Wolf. We are slowly starting to get recognised for who we are. People know that we are here to make a real difference to healthy living, wellness and its awareness. Sports breaks down barriers, and it is one platform where everyone has a common goal. It’s now high time we move on to the global stage,” Nick told Gulf News at the end of the first Sports Imprint Forum held as part of the Seventh Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Ramadan Sports Tournament, late on Monday.
“We’ve done two international races so far — Turkey two years ago and Serbia back in September — and we were supposed to be in Japan next month, but there’s been a slight complication there. If we start racing internationally, then we will have a better connect across many more platforms, including tourism alongside sports.
“Besides, we would be involved with other activities in that country and that city where again, we would be constantly telling our story — and people love stories and find ways to connect with these stories. There’s lots of goals and there are a lot of things to happen for us as a team.
“Our goal now is to go global and spread this story further afield. The idea is to participate in more races and that spreads to everyone involved. At the end of the day we want Rio as a child with determination to be included into the mainstream, to feel a part of society and that’s what’s more important.”
More recently, Tia has been getting more involved during races with Rio, possibly hinting a takeover at the helm? “I am always going to be racing with Rio. People always keep asking me if I will ever race solo, and do triathlons by myself. I don’t think that will ever happen because I would miss Rio,” Nick said.
“But Tia is only of her own choice wanting to race with Rio. I think she feels she has to continue the story. But what’s really important is that she is connecting with the younger generation. She’s inspiring so many other children because she’s only 12 and other children are going ‘if she can do it, there is no excuse’. And that is what is inspiring others to get fit, to get healthy and all the other things one wants to do here. She’s a huge inspiration and she is definitely making a difference.”