Trained guide runners help six visually impaired new runners

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Six visually impaired (VI) adults came to Parklands Leisure Centre in Oadby on Saturday morning for a fantastic running taster session expertly led by Run Leader Sara Davies.

After some introductions the participants were all matched up with trained guide runners who had kindly agreed to support the event. Parklands also provided the venue free of charge.

The session started indoors, firstly with an opportunity to get used to being guided whilst walking, then leading into a warm up followed by a chance to increase the pace into a jog or run.

As confidence increased the session moved outside to a country park. Five runners used a path circuit to walk, jog and run at a pace to suit them, whilst two went for a slightly longer run. The session finished back inside with a highly competitive beanbag relay race and a gentle cool down.

Local VI runner and Parklands LC user, Haseeb Ahmad, who broke the world record for a VI Ironman last year also attended the event to offer inspiration, support and advice. Ken from Vista Newsline also attended and reported on the event to help to spread the word within the VI community.

Sarah Leadbetter was one of the participants and told us, "I never thought I would try running, but I had a go today and enjoyed the session. My guide dog Kiki is not normally so noisy - I think she would have liked a go too!"

Another newly enthused runner, Guy Whitehouse added, "It's great to be outside in the fresh air and feel the wind on my face."

Run Leader Sara Davies commented, "I'm so pleased we managed to attract so many people and the session went well. Fingers crossed that they will keep running."

Parklands VI taster session

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