We are still working hard to set up our Race Running Club in East London
Since the taster event I have found that many of my Physiotherapy sessions have become training sessions instead.
Kids wanting to get fitter so they can perform better next time they get on their Runners!!
This is wonderful, the children are really motivated and enjoying being treated like atheletes in training.
We really need to get these kids back on the Race Runners as soon as possible. I am meeting with our local Rotary Club next week, who will hopefully feel the cause is worhty and have suggested they may be able to buy the club a couple of runners!
We have also put together some fundraising materials and a page for donations. Please share these around to help raise money for the Race Runners. The coaches are there and waiting, I am free and eager to start supporting the kids on Sunday mornings so all we need is the money to buy the bikes.
Last week 10 children between the ages of 5 and 16 came along to the Feel Good Centre in Waltham Forest and ran around the athletics track – and what’s so remarkable about that you may say?
Well, nothing and that is what is remarkable! All the children came in their wheelchairs or walkers and joined in with the Waltham Forest Wolves Athletics Club, running alongside their siblings and new friends.
It was wonderful to see them all having fun, out of breath and rubbing their aching leg muscles after their run…
What better way to tell you how the taster session went, than to hear from the children and families who attended:
“We had a wonderful time and Victoria was so pleased with herself, we want to come every week” – Victoria’s mum.
“I loved it was fun, I want to go back and do it again” Champ – aged 16, loves football, wrestling and can throw some moves on the dance floor, also has Cerebral Palsy affecting his arms and legs.
You have to watch this Video of Champ running to complete his full lap of the track!
“It’s taken nearly 17 years but we finally see our son run without falling over and may we add 400 meters! Was one of the proudest, most memorable times of our lives” Sarah and Mark Yearsley, Proud Parents.
“My son Matt is a sport obsessed 9 year old who also has cerebral palsy.
This largely affects his legs and as such he uses a wheelchair, walking frame and sticks.
I spotted the Race Running taster session on a facebook post and did not hesitate to make the 60 mile journey to Walthamstow.
The running frames offer the chance to run freely. It sounds daft but it is not something Matt has ever had the chance to do. He loved the track, being with other children and competing against himself.
I know these frames are very expensive but they offer much more than a way of running. The confidence and camaraderie the children will gain will be immeasurable. If we can get a running club up and going we will definitely use and support it.
My son has big dreams and plans for himself so who know’s where these bikes will take him!” Matt’s Mum.
Mia said: “I definitely want to go back again. I enjoyed it and it was nice to see other children who use wheelchairs like me.”
Her parents said “we enjoyed the session too – a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Everyone was so supportive, patient and understanding. We really hope you get sufficient funding to run this as it will be so beneficial for the children to be able to take part in sport.
As parents, we are often told by physiotherapists and occupational therapists to get our children to do relevant activities to help with coordination, muscle strength etc but it is almost impossible as the facilities are almost non existent, or impractical.
We most certainly would support and attend race running with Mia at Waltham Forest Athletics Club”
Aish is 7 years old and her favourite thing to do is to drive in her electric wheelchair, She said: “I can now run fast and take part in school sports”.
Her Mum: “For me I would say I never thought that my daughter would be able to run. It helps her breathing, improves her core muscle strength and boosts her confidence. I have been looking to get her joining a sport which she will be able to do with little help. Race runner gives her that independence.
She enjoys it a lot and planning to use it for taking part in a triathlon. But will need lots of practise.
All the children who came along were eager to come again. The only difference between the children in the wheelchairs and walkers and their able-bodied siblings and friends is that they need a RaceRunner – a sort of modified bike – to be able to run around the track.
So, the plan is to fundraise to buy some RaceRunners f or the club. Of the many obstacles and challenges these children and families face, this is surely one we can help to knock down relatively easily.
If you are a family with a disabled child that might like to have a go at RaceRunning, or if you are a physio and would like to get involved, then please comment below or email me.
If you want to help us to raise money to buy the bikes (do a sponsored event for us? make us your work’s charity of the month? fundraise at your kids’ school?), again, email me.
This is what Hayley, one of the Coach’s from Access Sport, said after the event:
“Access Sport is a UK based sports charity which believes every child and young person should be able to access, experience and enjoy the power of sport to enhance their life prospects. We are delighted to be working in partnership Ellie to support the development of RaceRunning and meet the needs of those athletes who cannot run without assistance.
At the taster day, it was fantastic to see so many young people eager to try out RaceRunning. In such a short space of time, they all made great progress and some really were flying round the track! It would be fantastic to see those young people have regular access to Race Runners and reap the physical and mental benefits from participating in physical activity”.
I am really excited to be able to offer all the children I am supporting as a Physio the opportunity to participate in an accessible sport they can achieve in. Already it has helped the kids and I set meaningful, fun goals for them to work towards in their regular Physio sessions: “getting faster, going farther, needing less help… when they next hit the track!”
We already have £500 in our pot from Access Sport and CP sport may be able to lend us their RaceRunners so we can get started soon. Charlotte, who is a wonderful Physiotherapy Assistant who works with me, (and did so much to help turn my ideas and wishes to set up a Race Running club, into a reality) has got a few meetings lined up to discuss more donations.
So, finally HUGE thanks to the families and kids, and local Physio – Vivian from Waltham Forest- for coming along; Thanks to the lovely Charlotte for all her hard work and perseverance and for donating her time on Sunday morning; to Quest88 for providing the RaceRunners and tech support for our taster session; to the Feel Good Centre for hosting us; and to Access Sport and the Waltham Forest Wolves for letting us gate-crash their regular Sunday training session, and starting off the fund-raising with their donation.
If you’re interested in joining the Wolves check out this Poster for more details.