In December 2014 Mayfields Lifeskills Centre was awarded £1,200 from our William Colton Youth Sports Fund.
Funding was awarded for the delivery of a series of running line events. A running line is a piece of assistive technology that gives visually impaired runners physical, tactile and audible stimulation to support their running activities.
Mayfields Lifeskills Centre, in collaboration with Loughborough University, have developed the running line and research by the University has shown that exposure to the running line rapidly improves stride pattern, stride length, speed and confidence for those who use it.
A number of running sessions took place over summer 2015 with the aim of improving access to running and sport for those with visual impairment or who were blind.
Further to this funding, a number of visually impaired and blind people have had the opportunity to access running in a safer environment for the first time. In addition a RNIB Running club was established and continues to run with a number of regular attenders. Attendees continue to benefit from a healthier lifestyle through accessing the sport.
Jade, a user who regularly attends the RNIB running club, was even nominated for The Charnwood Sports awards.
Parents have been able to experience what it’s like for their visually impaired child to run in a safer environment and the events have inspired sighted people to become guide runners for the blind.
At Lutterworth High school a 13 Year old visually impaired girl was able to race against her class mates, while at the same time educate her peers and teachers about the difficulties and challenges she faces during PE lessons.
Mark Beeby, Director of Mayfields Lifeskills Centre, said, ‘I’m so excited that this funding has not only helped raise the profile of the running line, but has also helped with the development of a visually impaired running club in Loughborough. This will provide a pathway into Charnwood Athletics Club and possible opportunities for more visually impaired and blind people to take part in Paralympic sport.’
If you would like to set up your own fund that works to support charities and groups in the local community, contact Katy Green, Chief Executive at Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org & 0116 2624 916.