“I can now train independently.” By Manu Teofilo

“I can now train independently.”

By Manu Teofilo; Edited by Ella Kirby;

I always wanted to be able to exercise on my own and at any time I choose to. But going to the gym or swimming is not safe to do independently. My ability to exercise is restricted to someone being available. 

Round the Bays 2024 

Round the Bays 2024 was my fourth time doing the 8.4KM event and I completed it in my fastest time of 1 hour and 31 minutes! Thank you to my support worker and Renaissance Group, for supporting me on the day.  

After RTB2024, I reflected and thought while doing 5km two days before 8.4KM;

“The exercise I get from being in the Cogy is fun and I enjoy it…why not do more….? Why not make it a HOBBY and set a goal to do a HALF-MARATHON!”

Yes, that’s my goal and if I’m on track I want to do the Half Marathon in November 2024! 

Since RTB2024 Training started I’ve been making my mum watch or walk with me around a local carpark or Barry Curtis 2 or 3 times a week. One-time 12km! 

I never felt safe to go out on my own. So I always have to wait for someone to be available. With this drive to Cogy more I decided to do a 10km event. So I asked the Renaissance Coordinator if she could find someone who can support me on April 7th. A week later, she informed me that a support worker could. Amazing! 


My drive continued to increase in my head;

“I couldn’t continue to make my mum go with me every time! I felt confident going to Otara town centre with my mum previously…. and now I have a bottle holder on my Cogysurely, I could do it by myself…?”

Cogying with my support workers the last few years has built up my confidence to go out on my own. 

Waterfront Half-Marathon 10KM CLASSIC 

I met my support worker on the Friday. He said that he was at Round the Bays. I think he’s a legend for agreeing to do a 10km a month after. On Sunday, my support worker was incredible. Encouraging me along the whole course. Supported me with drinks, adjusting my seat and making sure I look respectable. He kept up when I went my fastest and encouraged me to keep it up. We completed the course in 1 hour 50 minutes and 47 seconds!