Charlotte Jarman

What is RaceRunning?

RaceRunning is a new sport for children, young people and adults that cannot run independently, and rely on support aids for mobility and balance. The RaceRunner is a three-wheeled frame which supports the athlete’s body, enabling the athlete to propel the frame with their feet and steer using their hands. RaceRunning can be done just for fun and fitness, but it’s also a competition sport, and there are plans afoot to get it included in the Paralympic Games in 2024.

What do we want to do, and why?

We have teamed up with Access Sport and their Waltham Forest Wolves Athletics Club to fundraise to buy five RaceRunners in different sizes, so that children and young people with disabilities can take part in RaceRunning at the weekly Wolves sessions in Walthamstow.

This would give them:

• Cardiovascular exercise – which can be very difficult to access for children with complex disabilities such as cerebral palsy
• Social interaction with other children and young people with additional needs
• Fresh air – the club would take place at an outdoor athletics track
• Fun!

How much funding do we need?

Each RaceRunner costs approximately £2,000, and we are hoping to raise £10,000 so that we can buy five RaceRunners in a range of sizes to use at Waltham Forest Wolves Athletics Club.Testimonials

We recently held a RaceRunning taster session at the Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre (which hosts the weekly Wolves sessions). Here is what some of the young people that took part, and their families, had to say:

"I definitely want to go back again. I enjoyed it and it was nice to see other children who use wheelchairs like me."

Mia, aged 10

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 certainly would support and attend race running with Mia at Waltham Forest Athletics Club.

Maxine and Nick, Mia’s Mum and Dad

"The taster session was amazing for both the family and Amar. He had so much fun and really enjoyed taking part in his first sporting activity and bike trial. We really hope you can set this up soon so Amar can join."

Mum of Amar, aged 9

"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 going we will definitely use and support it."

Lisa, Mum to Matt, aged 9

The RaceRunner trial was fantastic. Prior to coming Eesa was really excited, all he wanted to do was ‘race’. We as parents loved seeing the smile on his face and how much he enjoyed it. It would be fantastic if it was something he could do more regularly. Equipment is often expensive and bulky so unfortunately we can’t always afford such items and store them. This would be a wonderful opportunity for him to use the RaceRunners as well as making friends and socialising with them."

Asma, Mum to Eesa, aged 5

For more testimonials, photos, and a video of 16-year-old Champ completing a lap of the athletics track at the Feel Good Centre, click here.

Who’s behind the idea?

The idea of a RaceRunning club for East London is the brainchild of Ellie Barton, a paediatric physiotherapist based in Leytonstone, who specialises in working with children with complex needs. You can find out more about Ellie on her blog:

We are very grateful for the support and expertise of:

CP Sport, which is pioneering RaceRunning in the UK
Quest88, which supplies the RaceRunners and loaned us five of them for our taster session
Access Sport's Ignite Programme, which supports the Waltham Forest Wolves Athletics Club which hosted our taster session, and is working with us to offer RaceRunning on a weekly basis
The Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre, which provides a welcoming venue and state of the art facilities for the Wolves sessions

Charlotte Jarman