TOBIAS GARBUTT WELLER
Schoolboy tackles endurance challenges on his walking frame to raise money and awareness of what life is like for people with disabilities.
Tobias lives with autism and cerebral palsy but refuses to let anything stop him trying to help others by taking on a series of gruelling physical challenges.
So far the schoolboy from Sheffield, South Yorks, has completed two marathons, an Iron Man and a sponsored walk to raise more than £158,000 for a range of good causes, including his school and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Tobias was nicknamed ‘Captain’ after he was inspired by his hero Captain Sir Tom Moore to start raising money during the pandemic lockdowns.
He covered the Iron Man distance over the course of a year, covering 112 miles on his trike, swimming 2.5 miles and running 26 miles with the help of his frame. After crossing the finish line, Tobias said: “It feels magnificent. This challenge has taken me over a year to complete. And I’m so excited I’ve finally reached my goal. I feel awesome. “I like pushing myself as hard as I can and enjoying myself at the same time so completing challenges lets me do this.”
His recent Tobias in the Park event saw members of the public join him for a sponsored stroll, raising money for new playground equipment that is accessible to disabled children. In December he became the youngest person to be celebrated in the New Year’s Honours List, when he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his efforts. His mum, Ruth Garbutt, says: “I’m bursting with pride for what my son has accomplished and I’m delighted that his efforts have been recognised in so many ways. “We could never have dreamed he might be able to do things like that and he’s done it and that makes me so so proud of him. “I don’t think I’m going to be able to stop him from wanting to carry on setting himself challenges and meeting his targets and raising lots of money for charity”. Tobias’s fundraising challenges have been followed around the UK and he has been singled out for praise by dozens of leaders and celebrities, including former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill.