Introducing Team Defy Convention – Spartans in Training

Spartan Team Defy Convention

Team Defy Convention is coming to a Spartan Race near you!

Actually, truth be told, everyone is coming to us… You see we have team members traveling to Vancouver, British Columbia, to participate in a Spartan Sprint this June! We’ve got a couple members coming all the way from London, England! That is a 7587 kilometer trip. We’ve also got four American teammates and a few more of us Canadians! We’re quite the international team.

Here’s the official introduction to team Defy Convention. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates and to help keep us motivated! Aroo!!!

Josh Ritchie Spartan Team


It all started when Oliver asked me to write him a gym program. As a qualified personal trainer and a long time friend of his, I gave him my best, and to his credit he stuck to it word for word. Fast forward a half a year and he wanted to start challenging himself more and more so Spartan races were the next logical step. Whilst I run to support him, his mental toughness and determination is contagious and in reality we run to push each other whilst also having fun. Attitude is everything.

John Manning Spartan Team


When I saw that Sidestix was putting together a team to run a Spartan race, I got excited on several fronts. I’ve never run a Spartan race before, so I knew it would be a great new challenge to train and prepare for. I saw the video from last year’s race and some of the obstacles definitely got my attention! Being from Southern California, I’m excited to visit the Vancouver area and I think it will be a beautiful venue for the race. Most of all, I’m looking forward to the overall experience – meeting new people, being part of the team and competing together.

Follow John on Facebook and Instagram!

Andrew Abley Spartan Team


On October 1st, 2014, My life changed forever after being involved in a very serious workplace accident. After 1.5 years of battling for my mobility, I lost my battle, and had my right leg amputated on May 24, 2016. I am doing this race for a couple of reasons. The first reason is to prove to myself that I am not broken; that I can still do anything I set my mind to. I feel I need to prove to myself, my wife, my young daughter and friends that I am Invictus;  which means in Greek “unconquerable” or “undefeated”

I see the Spartan Race as the pinnacle in endurances races, an event that the normal able bodied person with full mobility would struggle with, lead alone a broken guy with one leg.

Team Defy Convention will defy what people say cannot be done and finish the SPARTAN RACE !

Follow Andrew on Facebook!


I am excited to participate in my first Spartan Race because I love doing things for the first time! I think we’re never fully aware of what we can accomplish until we push ourselves to the limit, and there’s always a new boundary to test. I’m always up for a challenge and love the thrill and camaraderie of action sports, so I’m expecting this to be a great experience regardless of how well I finish. I try to make new friends wherever I go and figure nothing bonds a bunch of strangers like slogging through mud and climbing up walls!

Follow Katherine on Facebook and Instagram!

Bart Porebski Spartan Team


I am participating in the Spartan Race to support my team “Defy Convention” on the field in anyway possible. Also, I hope to demonstrate the effectiveness of Sidestix crutches, a product I am proud to build and stand behind, beside or under, depending on the obstacles thrown at us come race day. I expect to be inspired by my team members as we overcome obstacles in anyway, shape or form. So, as you can see, it is all about me.

Follow Bart on Instagram!

Nico Calabria Spartan Team


I am running the Spartan race to prove myself. I find that athletics are one of the best ways to deconstruct paternalistic ideas of disability. By running the Spartan race, I can show the world that I am capable, and I can show myself that “ability” is only a manifestation of attitude. I am also running for SideStix. I believe in the product wholeheartedly, as it has changed my life. Find us an obstacle that SideStix cannot conquer! 

Kerith Perreur-Lloyd Spartan Team


For me the “Spartan Challenge” is all about pushing limits. We’re all busy, rushing around trying to stuff as much as (or more than!) we can into each day. So in many ways we’re constantly challenging ourselves! However these daily challenges are mostly cerebral… (Who needs actual balls for a ‘juggling act’??)

So I’m looking forward to the physical, tactile, aspects of the Spartan Challenge, to see how I perform, my team performs and how SideStix perform. I think there are some valuable lessons to be learned, not least of which is that regardless of how tough it gets, let’s keep positive, keep smiling and keep having fun!

Amanda Webster Spartan Team


Sometimes I have these crazy ideas. Ideas that once seeded spread like weeds and then before you know it… Aroo!!! I’ve enlisted 11 teammates to sign up for a Spartan Race. Sure, I didn’t really consider what I was getting myself into… but here I am and I’m committed.

I’ve never competed in any physical race or competition in my life and now I’m part of a team. A team that is motivating me to train and to prove myself. I’m honoured to participate with such great people and athletes.

Follow Amanda on Instagram!

Oliver Lam-Watson Spartan Team


I was told I would never be an athlete. I was told I would never run again and I was told I would never walk again. So, for me, these races help represent all the things I was told I would never be able to do. It’s not just a race. Do what you can’t.

Follow Oliver on Instagram and subscribe to his YouTube!

Abby Kellett Spartan Team


For me, participating in the Spartan Race as part of team SideStix is about challenging others’ perceptions. SideStix is all about defying convention and enabling individuals to challenge themselves. As an occupational therapy student, completing the Spartan Race is an opportunity to demonstrate in a very tangible way just how far one can go on SideStix. Pushing my limits should never be about how accessible my environment is, it should always be a matter of who I am and what I am capable of. This is how it should be for everyone and I’m excited to be a part of a team that demonstrates that in a very explicit way.


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