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!
Find out more
On Saturday, 15th July a group of Lewisham members, SELVis staff and volunteers met at Place Ladywell for our minibus outing to Margate. Our minibus and driver Tony from Lewisham Community Transport were there ready to meet us to set off at 9.30am. The roads were clear and we arrived in Margate shortly after 11am. Tony dropped the group off at a bay about a mile from the centre of Margate, giving us the option to walk along the seafront or drive along to Margate itself. We split into two groups, some members choosing to walk and others getting back on the bus for the drive. The sun was shining on our arrival.
One group walked along the seafront and stopped to listen to some live music. They went to a pub for refreshments and watched the world go by! Another group went for fish and chips from Peter’s Fish Factory – the best place in Margate according to locals! Some members visited Margate’s Turner Gallery to see some contemporary art works. Unfortunately the weather turned windy and a little rain shower. We didn’t let the weather dampen our spirits and had a most enjoyable time. The sun was back out for the end of the day so we had time to fit in an ice cream before getting back on the minibus to come home. Many thanks to our driver Tony who made it an enjoyable journey.
Everyone had a wonderful time. Diane said, “It was a really welcome, enjoyable day out.”
Patrick’s commented, “It was a great day. I would like to have stayed longer in Margate.”
Sonia agreed with the others and said, “It was well planned and the group was a good mix. The day was enjoyable. Waiting for the next trip!”
Find out more