Yasmina dressed as Superman taking part in the Superheroes challenge in her walker

Local children’s charity Tree of Hope is hoping one of the families they support will be featured in a Channel 4 programme this weekend.

Yasmina Bez took part in the Superhero Tri 2022 event powered by Marvel, the biggest disability event of its kind in Europe on August 20 at Dorney Lake near Windsor in Berkshire, one of the London 2012 Olympic sites.

The event saw hundreds of children across the country with disabilities and their chosen ‘sidekicks’ gather to complete a triathlon course of varying lengths. Participants could run, walk, skip or wheel their way to the finish line.

Thirteen-year-old Yasmina Bez was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) aged 8.

Yasmina interviewed by presenter Clare Balding

Rare inherited disease

FA is a rare, inherited disease which causes progressive nervous system damage and movement problems and worsens over time.

Yasmina has problems with her speech and uses a wheelchair most of the time. She started horse-riding at the age of 11, initially as part of her therapy to improve her movement and strength, and found that as well as loving the sport, she had a real talent for it. She currently rides with the Riding for the Disabled New Lodge centre in Bromley. She has already won a regional competition at RDA Penniwells, and was due to take part in the national competition in July, which was postponed because of the heatwave. She will need her own horse and private lessons in order to progress.

Highlights of The Superhero Series’ Superhero Tri will be screened on Channel 4 on Sunday September 4 at 8:45am – and Yasmina and her family can’t wait to see if her interview will be included.

Yasmina, who covered 10km in her walker dressed as Superman said: ‘It was my first time at the Superheroes Series and it was amazing. It was the first time I got to run for over 4 years and I felt free, I was so excited to run in the triathlon with my race runner and my family were all there to support me on the way.

Yasmina watched by her sister is congratulated by Superman

‘Superman and Wonder Woman were waiting for me’

‘My favourite part of the triathlon was when I was halfway in and all my relatives were calling on FaceTime to support me and I felt great! But the hardest part was when I was close to the finish line and I was really tired and was in pain and I wanted to quit but my mum kept pushing me until the end and I can’t thank her enough. When I reached the finish I felt so good. Superman and Wonder Woman were waiting for me and they congratulated me, I’m so glad I met them!’

Mum Touria Hauokachi, 36, said: ‘We all really enjoyed the event and hope it will help us raise money for a horse for Yasmina. Like any teenaged girl, she wants to be as independent as possible and with movement difficulties, riding really helps her to achieve that.’

The family is being supported by children’s charity Tree of Hope which helps families fundraise for children like Yasmina with healthcare needs and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.

Clare Balding

Tree of Hope is an established charity partner of the Superhero Tri for the fourth year running and will be at the event which will be covered by Clare Balding on Channel 4.

Head of Marketing & Family Support Georgie Lowry explained ‘We’re delighted that the event is back in full force since the pandemic began and will be the first time we have attended the event as a charity partner. We’re very proud to represent all of our superhero participants and will be cheering them on from the sidelines. It has been a brilliant way for our families to fundraise and we hope they enjoy the day!’


To donate to Yasmina’s fund, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/yasmina-bez/

For more information about the Superhero Series visit https://superheroseries.co.uk/

By Ed

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