Run! Activator Walking Beyond Boundaries


Tower Hamlets Run! Activator Nicole Evans is used to writing good news stories about her participants and borough partnerships, but this time it's Nicole’s turn to be the good news story...

Nicole Evans, 25, had been confined to a wheelchair with Cerebral Palsy, and next week marks the  one year anniversary that Nicole was diagnosed with Myopathy and was told by medical professionals not to exercise, but to sit and wait. Now a year after diagnosis, on Friday 25 November, Nicole left her wheelchair at home for the first time and went to work via the tube and DLR and walked the whole length of the Excel centre to network at the UKSEM, Europes Largest Sport and Exercise Medicine Conference.

Nicole could have given up physical activity, but through being introduced to a Personal Trainer Andrew Hale whilst coaching on the Run! Project, she now trains six times per week and is determined not to give up with the goal of taking part in the London Marathon in 2013. Nicole has received personal training from Andrew for 41 weeks and a typical training session involves speed walking up a hill for 150 metres and walking up to two miles often carrying weights! As Run! Activator for Tower Hamlets Nicole has convinced Andrew to coach two new Run England groups at Queen Mary's University.

Whilst at the UKSEM conference Nicole was given the opportunity to feature in a film promoting new Orthotics equipment which significantly helped her posture whilst walking. Nicole said: "The sudden change of standing after being in a wheelchair is indescribable because suddenly the whole world has a different perspective. I am being pushed physically and psychologically each week in every aspect of life balancing a new job, diet, training and completing my Masters degree and I am doing everything I can to maintain it."

Run! Project manager Rhian Horlock said: "When appointing Nicole as Run! Activator, her incredible willpower stood out, Nicole’s determination is inspiring and we can all learn something from her. Nicole is currently using innovative ways converting inactives to become active, drawing from her own personal experience. Nicole is a testament that the Run! Project works and is a great role model to all."

Nicole, won the Inclusive and Active Ambassador award at the fourth London Celebrating Sport and Physical Activity ceremony, held at City Hall in January. Sponsored by Interactive, the Inclusive and Active Ambassador award acknowledges individuals who are proactively increasing participation levels of disabled people in sport and physical activity, in an inclusive environment in London. Since commencing her role as Run! Activator Nicole has assisted with increasing inclusivity in the borough, increasing Run England groups and membership, piloting an adult back to athletics sessions, developing mother and toddler sessions, securing a new parkrun for the borough, recruiting new volunteers, establishing a steering group and has submitted a number of funding applications. Nicole is currently working in partnership to develop sport for social change estate based sessions, older peoples Olympics and exploring athletics in the widest possible sense through Athletics on Ice, Museum Athletics and Circus Athletics.

For further info on Nicole or the Run! Project in Tower Hamlets please contact

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