Inspirational Zoe set to complete hand cycle challenge in aid of future Olympic champions

Brave young Belfast girl Zoe Rainey is one of many hundreds of people across Northern Ireland who are getting behind the Mary Peters Trust summer challenge #PassTheTorch and raising much needed cash for the sporting charity which supports our future champions.

Twelve-year-old Zoe, who has a number of complex disabilities, has challenged herself to complete 11 laps of the Mary Peters Track using her newly acquired hand cycle, this Sunday, 1st August where she will be joined by Lady Mary Peters for some of the laps.

As Zoe explains, “I am paralysed below my belly button and have spina bifida, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, scoliosis and use a Bi-PAP ventilator at night to help me breathe – but none of that stops me loving life!

“The 11 lap course is 4.4km and to date my personal best is 2.1km, so I will need to double this to complete my challenge for the Mary Peters Trust Pass the Torch campaign. My motto is ‘Never Give Up’ so I plan to make it happen. I love being active and doing my weekly training sessions with my physiotherapists, Steph and Louise and hope to raise as much as possible to help young athletes.”

Zoe has already raised over £2000 well exceeding her original £500 target and has been training hard to complete her Sunday morning hand cycle challenge.

If anyone would like to donate to Zoe you can do so online via

The Trust’s #PassTheTorch campaign has been inspired by this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games and the charity is partnering with leading energy company Power NI to encourage families, sports clubs, community groups, schools and businesses to get behind the Trust and have some fun by taking on a challenge of their choice to help support local sporting champions of the future.

Lady Mary Peters says:

“Next year marks a very special anniversary for me as I mark 50 years since my Olympic gold at Munich in 1972. Our summer 2021 #PassTheTorch relay challenge is the beginning of a year’s countdown to that ‘golden jubilee’ celebrations.

“Everyone at the Trust would like to wish Zoe the very best of luck for Sunday’s cycle. She is such an inspiration to us all and we’re so thankful for her and her family’s efforts. We really appreciate her contribution and that of everyone who has participated. We’re thrilled with the response to date and hope that people are enjoying picking up the torch on behalf of the Mary Peters Trust to help develop the sporting talents of our young people and future champions.”

Saturday 31st July, 1pm to 3pm in Castlecourt Shopping Centre, is the final event of four pop-up roadshows with Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Kate Nicholl calling in to meet the team at 1.30pm.

To find out more about #PasstheTorch go to the campaign’s dedicated page at

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