Tag Archives: guide running

BBS & England Athletics Guide Running Update

BBS & England Athletics Guide Running Update

BRITISH BLIND SPORT AND ENGLAND ATHLETICS GUIDE RUNNING UPDATE

As lockdown restrictions across the UK are being changed, British Blind Sport has been working closely with England Athletics to update guidance on the status of guide running in England.

The government recommendations are that people remain 2 metres apart, or 1 metre with extra protection measures, therefore we understand that extra modification is essential on account of a disability or impairment.

As such, guide running can once again begin to take place as long as both guide and visually impaired runner fully understand the increased risk associated with the activity and follow the mitigations included in the updated guidance.

Guide running should ideally take place with participants running side by side and should only take place outdoors. You should maintain social distancing from other people when out running and ensure that hands are washed before and after activity. We also recommend that running tethers are thoroughly cleaned between uses.

Ideally, where possible, both parties should be from within the same household or support bubble to decrease risk of the virus spreading. However, if this is not possible then guide running should take place between the same pair until further lifting of restrictions are advised (i.e. guide runners only run with one VI runner and vice versa).

It is also important that guide and VI runner have up to date contact details for one another, for track and trace purposes.

Please be aware that neither British Blind Sport nor England Athletics can take responsibility for any risk, injury or illness incurred during guide running and that all participants must fully understand the risk that they are taking on by resuming this activity.

If you have any queries, please get in touch by emailing info@britishblindsport.org.uk or phoning the BBS office on 01926 424247.

For further information from England Athletics, click here to view the updated guidance on the England Athletics website – included in the three guidance documents for Athletes & Runners, Coaches & Leaders, and Road Running Coaches.

 

 

Have a Go Day: Northhampton!

Have a Go Day Northamptonshire with British Blind Sport 25 April 2020

British Blind Sport brings their  Have a Go Day to Northampton in 2020!

British Blind Sport is working in partnership with Northamptonshire Sport and Northampton Association for the Blind to deliver a sports taster event for people living with sight loss.

British Blind Sport’s “Have a Go Days” have been running successfully for 4 years all across the UK, giving children and adults living with a visual impairment the chance to try inclusive and adapted sports and physical activity in a safe and supported environment. As well as trying out different activities, the Have a Go Day is also a chance for attendees to meet industry professionals and other people in their local area who want to take steps towards being more active.

These events aim to provide participants with a pathway for continuing to be active in the future by inviting coaches from local VI-friendly clubs and community groups to run sessions during the day and give attendees the chance to try out something new and fun, which is also available in their location for them to continue after the event. So far, the confirmed sports that will be available at the Northampton Have a Go Day are Football, Cricket, Guide Running, Judo and Acoustic Shooting…with many more to be confirmed!

This event is completely free and is open to anyone with a visual impairment. BBS encourages participants to bring along family and friends to get involved alongside them! No matter if you’re already a fully-fledged sport player or haven’t kicked a football in many years, British Blind Sport encourages everyone to come along and “have a go”.

The Northampton Have a Go Day will take place on Saturday 25th April at Kingsthorpe College, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7HR from 10am – 3pm.

“Have a Go Days” have always been extremely popular, and so we encourage anyone who wants to attend to register their interest the event! We have received the below feedback from previous participants;

“Thanks for a great day, it’s been a great confidence builder for my daughter and she’s really enjoyed it! Look forward to the next time.” Parent of participant, Norwich Have a Go Day 2019

 “The whole day was extremely well organised and each session was well structured. I learnt a lot about different sports available to visually impaired people and had lots of fun too! It is also good to have lots of visually impaired people meeting together to share experiences and ideas.” Participant, Leicester Have a Go Day 2019

 “A fantastic day! Very useful and also inspiring!” Participant, Leicester Have a Go Day 2019

 Registration is required prior to the event and is available on the British Blind Sport website: www.britishblindsport.org.uk/have-a-go-day-northampton/

For further details, contact Alex Pitts, National Partnerships Manager, on 01926 424247 or email alex@britishblindsport.org.uk

British Blind Sport are always grateful of the support of volunteers to help out at these events. If you can spare some time to help the attendees to enjoy the day fully, please get in touch.

 

BBS: Have a Go Day Bristol

Have a go Day Bristol with British Blind Sport

British Blind Sport Have a Go Day Bristol

We are delighted to announce British Blind Sport’s Have a Go Day programme is coming to Bristol!  Working in partnership with Wesport and Vision West of England, the event will take place at St Pauls Sports Centre, Newfoundland Road,
St Pauls, BS2 9NH on Saturday 15th September. Register for the Have a Go Day in Bristol.

Open to anyone with a visual impairment aged 5 and up, including their friends and siblings, come along and take part in an entirely free day of activities including Cricket, Football, Guide Running and many more!

Last year a number of successful similar events took place across the UK. Here’s what other participants had to say:

“I found it amazing! The things I thought I couldn’t do, I actually could. Especially cycling for the first time in 11 years. I felt the wind on my face as we moved around the track. Really enjoyed the day and look forward to the next.” Participant, Have a Go Day Leicester

When and Where

Venue: Bristol Grammar School Sports Hall, University Road, Bristol BS8 1SR

Date: Saturday 15th September   Time: 11am-4pm

 Get Involved!

Register for the Have a Go Day in Bristol.

Contact: For further details please contact Alex Pitts, Participation Officer on telephone:  07929 356428 or email alex@britishblindsport.org.uk

 

BBS: Have a Go Day Bristol!

Have a go Day Bristol with British Blind Sport
Venue:
Bristol Grammar School Sports Hall, University Road, Bristol BS8 1SR
Time:
11.00 am - 4.00 pm
Phone:
 07929 356428
Date:
15th September 2018
Cost:
Free


British Blind Sport Have a Go Day Bristol

We are delighted to announce British Blind Sport’s Have a Go Day programme is coming to Bristol!  Working in partnership with Wesport and Vision West of England, the event will take place at St Pauls Sports Centre, Newfoundland Road,
St Pauls, BS2 9NH on Saturday 15th September. Register for the Have a Go Day in Bristol.

Open to anyone with a visual impairment aged 5 and up, including their friends and siblings, come along and take part in an entirely free day of activities including Cricket, Football, Guide Running and many more!

Last year a number of successful similar events took place across the UK. Here’s what other participants had to say:

“I found it amazing! The things I thought I couldn’t do, I actually could. Especially cycling for the first time in 11 years. I felt the wind on my face as we moved around the track. Really enjoyed the day and look forward to the next.” Participant, Have a Go Day Leicester

When and Where

Venue: Bristol Grammar School Sports Hall, University Road, Bristol BS8 1SR

Date: Saturday 15th September   Time: 11am-4pm

 Get Involved!

Register for the Have a Go Day in Bristol.

Contact: For further details please contact Alex Pitts, Participation Officer on telephone:  07929 356428 or email alex@britishblindsport.org.uk

 

Guide Running – First time for everything

Guide Running - First time for everything!

original article by Ben Roback – www.londonathletics.org

Any time you are asked to imagine something, often the scenario begins with ‘close your eyes’. In the case of guide running, that’s a pretty good place to start.

Guide running for the first time is an incredibly daunting experience. In an instant, you are responsible for another person’s wellbeing and safety. Think about that for a second – would you close your eyes and trust a total stranger to guide you around a track five times on a rainy Saturday morning, or a 5km parkrun with stones, fallen branches and dogs to navigate?

I saw a guide running course posted online and enrolled in a session led by two exceptional trainers from England Athletics. After 90 minutes of theory and 60 minutes of practical work, I was a qualified guide runner. That combination of classroom learning and first-hand experience on the track provided an excellent foundation into guide running, and simulated the kind of scenarios you are likely to encounter when guiding. The real test comes when you get out there and take those first few steps as a guide.

As a qualified guide listed on the England Athletics Guide Runner database, I was contacted by a blind man in London who was looking to get into running again. As a young man, Surrinder was a competitive runner, but losing his sight meant that regular running stopped. Now in his 50s, Surrinder is back to running regularly again.

Typically we aim for eight laps of the Maida Vale athletics track, pushing to beat our time from previous weeks and occasionally stretching to an extra lap or two. The reactions we get from other runners are always entertaining, as they never know whether to look shocked or quietly impressed.

As we approach the track, walk around its inside and stretch at the 100m finish line, other runners look curious as to why we’re there and what we’re going to do. The same runners who looked surprised at the sight of a man walking with a cane in one hand and holding the elbow of a man with “GUIDE” across his vest in the other then look even more surprised when we start running. We run at a good pace and whilst Mo Farah won’t be losing any sleep over it, our pace is always quick enough to overtake a handful of casual runners on the track.

No one ever said that being blind means you can’t run fast.

In our first session, I was amazed by the immediate trust and faith Surrinder put in me. Whereas VI runners often like to run with a tether that keeps a physical link between runner and guide, Surrinder was happy to run alongside me and rely solely on verbal direction. That was a huge test of my confidence as a guide, but those tests will come for any guide runner and it should not serve as a deterrent to get qualified and volunteer.

After a cool down and some stretching, Surrinder takes my elbow with one hand and his cane in the other, and we walk back to the park entrance to go our separate ways, his journey home requiring much more thought and care than mine.

The track is an excellent place to learn the ropes of guide running – the terrain is guaranteed to be flat and the course is routine, making it easier for both guide and runner. The guide can focus on giving verbal direction and ensure any overtaking is done safely and smoothly. This is an ideal scenario for guiding in which there are as few variables as possible, and the surrounding environment is stable. A near empty running track is the best place to start building your confidence as a guide, which is crucial when instructing a VI runner.

There is an ongoing initiative encouraging more VI runners at parkruns across the country, and I have guided at Highbury Fields and Mile End parkrun. I was matched with a local VI runners looking for a guide having made my availability known to Run Directors at locations in London.

From a guide’s perspective, this poses a new set of challenges, as the environment is less guaranteed. As well as focusing on giving vocal direction and adjusting the tether as necessary, as a guide you must pay attention to any potential hazards on the ground, such as others using the public path on foot and on bikes, overtaking and being overtaken – the list goes on.

Guide running even over a short distance can require a huge amount of energy because of the mental focus required to think and see for two people, and I suspect that challenge grows as the distance increases.

All things considered, I would really encourage others to think about taking the course needed to qualify as a guide runner. It is a truly unique experience that benefits both runner and guide. The time commitment can be as small or large as you wish, and I would especially urge those in the running community who may take their own ability to run for granted to take up guide running.

original article by Ben Roback