Cumbernauld triathlon gran gets going for two special young men

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A CUMBERNAULD grandmother will face the challenge of a triathlon on her 65th birthday - in honour of her son and his friend, both of whom were tragically killed in separate road accidents.

Josephine Lewis of Lochlea Road in Kildrum lost her son Brendan 21 years ago in a road smash near Falkirk. Brendan was just 17 and due to start a degree in medicine at Aberdeen University.

Several years later, a young man who had been Brendan’s pal at Our Lady’s High School also died in a car smash. He was Steven Dekker from Greenfaulds who died at just 24 when a van was travelling the wrong way on the A8011 near Cumbernauld. Both young men loved sport and had talked about doing a triathlon together but sadly it wasn’t to be. However, Josephine now intends to do it for them. So she will be pulling on her running shoes, taking to the pool and jumping on her bike on Sunday at the Stirling Triathlon which takes place at the city’s university campus.

And she will donate all sponsorship cash raised to Sacred Heart Parish Church’s Third World Group. This will help play for a clinic in the rural Nigeria where a onetime priest at the parish, Father Basil, is from.

Josephine who is retired library assistant said: “I’m nervous but excited at the same time. At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to do this as I wasn’t a very great swimmer but a friend from Condorrat, Lee Dillon who is a swimming instructor taught me to do this properly. I like to think that the two boys would be proud of me and it’s great that the group will benefit as these people in Nigeria really do have nothing.’’ she added.

And a slice of divine intervention looks set to help Josephine on her way on Sunday. “Father Basil who is based in Rome now is delighted to hear that I’m doing this and is going to say a Mass for me on the day,’’ she added. For more information on sponsoring Josephine contact the church on 721387.