Vision Sports Ireland and Athletics Ireland have announced the launch of a Guide Running Workshop. The workshop has been developed to give runners the skills and confidence to guide an individual who is blind, or vision impaired. Workshops will be rolled out nationally over the coming years with the aim to create a National Register of Guide Running Volunteers which will increase running opportunities for people who are blind, or vision impaired across Ireland.
Pádraig Healy, National Sports Development Manager with Vision Sports Ireland stated, “We are delighted to collaborate with Athletics Ireland and other key partners to provide education for runners to become guides and to support the creation of a National Register of Guide Runners. We hope that Athletic Clubs, Local Sports Partnerships, and parkruns will support us to host workshops across the country and connect with the running community. This course has the potential to support the over 2,000 people in Ireland who are blind and require a guide to enjoy the benefits of running”.
Athletics Ireland Director of Participation Rachel Ormrod, commented on the launch “Athletics Ireland are delighted to be working in partnership with Vision Sport Ireland and other key stakeholders as we take the next step in launching the Guide Running Workshop. It is hoped that by providing the right training supports we will be able to mobilise a cohort of guide runners who will be able to provide greater levels of access and opportunities for people across Ireland with a vision impairment to engage and participate in running”.
Special guest at the recent launch held at the new UCD athletics track was middle distance Irish Paralympian Athlete Greta Streimikyte, she stated “The skills gained from the guide running workshop provide the knowledge and confidence needed to guide blind or visually impaired individuals on their runs. I see this as an important step not only in understanding guide running but also in bringing people together that share the same love for running and being active”.
Kevin Kenny from Crusaders Athletic Club participated in the new Guide Running workshop recently and added “I recently took part in the Vision Sports Ireland Guide Running Workshop and soon after commenced my Guide Runner journey at my local Poolbeg parkrun. The course was an excellent introduction to the world of people who are visually impaired, with straightforward examples of the challenges they face both as a person and a runner, and the difference having the right training and practical application can make for them. While it’s early days for me as a Guide Runner and I am still learning, the Guide Runner Course has opened up a wonderful opportunity for both me and the visually impaired runner I participate with”.
Vision Sports Ireland and Athletics Ireland are delighted to host a Guide Running Workshop on Saturday March 4th in SETU Carlow, Co Carlow in partnership with Carlow Sport Partnership. This training is suitable for runners who wish to learn the fundamental skills of guide running.
Places are strictly limited, further information including registration can be found at www.visionsports.ie