Thanks to a grant from the Mayor of London Community Athletics Fund, South East London Vision (SELVis) was able to take a group of blind and visually impaired adults to a local Athletics track. Run for Fun is a series of events to encourage Blind and partially sighted adults to experience running in a variety of ways: in their local gym on a treadmill, in local athletic tracks and taking part in Park Runs and connect with and celebrate the World Athletics Championships that took place this summer in London.
Article from Jessica Beal – August 2017
It was a rainy day but the sun shone for our evening session at Ladywell Arena! On Friday, 18th August we held our first Run for Fun event on the running track at Ladywell. SELVis members from Lewisham and Bromley took part in a series of exercises to increase their fitness and gain more confidence to make use of a local running track. Everyone was paired with a guide runner and was given the option to use a tether to keep together or to run touching arms with the guide. After some warm up exercises alternating between high knees, jogging and jumping imaginary hurdles we ran or walked a lap or two of the track.
Many thanks to Adam Thomas for coaching our session. Adam runs S-Factor Academy’s inclusive athletics sessions on Saturday mornings at Ladywell Arena so was confident to coach our group. We are grateful to S-Factor Academy and England Athletics for providing guide runners to enable everyone to take part and get the most from the evening.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the session whether they ran or just walked around the track. Jason came to the Bromley Walk and Run session last summer and also attended the Ladywell track session. He said;
“As someone who has not run for quite some time I found the running session most enjoyable because it gave me an opportunity to start slowly and gain confidence in running and to build up my speed. By the end of the session the guide that I was paired with was quite tired too! I hope there are further sessions because this will help with my general fitness as most of the time I am in front of a computer for my work!”
It can be a daunting prospect to go out walking or running if you are visually impaired so going to the track feels a much safer environment without all the trip hazards of parks and open spaces. It’s a great way to get some exercise outdoors whether you walk, jog or sprint! Our next session is at Norman Park in Bromley on Sunday, 17th September from 11am to 1pm. So dust off your trainers and see you there!