Meet the team
Paul and Shannon are both triathletes and became acquainted when Paul invited Shannon to join his triathlon team in Charlotte in 2016. Shannon had moved there from Houston and asked Paul which local organization supported blind athletes in triathlon, and it turned out that there wasn’t an organization that was providing these services for the 9,000 blind individuals that live in Charlotte.
So the Para Guide Foundation was born. We began giving blind individuals, many of whom are parents, Veterans, and neighbors to all of us in Charlotte, hope to get back to a reality they once knew or had only dreamed of. We began training guides, building tandem bicycles with spare parts, and providing transportation to races in borrowed vans. We began advocating for accessibility for ALL people at events throughout the Carolinas. Many people in our area have limited access to a lifestyle of physical and mental wellness, and they simply want to go outside for a walk.
Para Guide is currently the only Charlotte-based organization that provides support for walking/running, cycling, and swimming for adaptive athletes (all three disciplines of triathlon). We serve people of all genders, races, ages, ethnic background, and socio-economic background. We serve children as young as five years old and all the way up to 80+ years old. We are able to serve blind and visually impaired individuals, DeafBlind individuals, and mobility impaired individuals (all “Athletes With Disabilities”), in all three disciplines (walking/running, cycling and swimming). We believe in accessibility for all, opportunities for all and equity for all.
Coach Shannon Houlihan
Shannon Houlihan is a USAT Certified Coach for 2021
Coach Paul Harrold
Paul Harrold is a USAT Certified Coach for 2021