RaceRunning is taking off

I THOUGHT I would share with you a new disability sport that seems to have taken Scotland by storm.

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RaceRunning has become popular around the world and, thanks to Gavin Drysdale, it is gaining support in this country too.

Inspirational Gavin, pictured, has spearheaded this interest through international success. He has also set an example through training and, most importantly, over the years spending hours and hours, travelling miles and miles to encourage other disabled children at Racerunning Come and Try events across the country.

In 2012, Gavin's international performances and role in promoting RaceRunning in Scotland were recognized when he won 'Young Scot of the Year Award - Sport category'.

A running bike is a three-wheeled bike with no pedals which supports you as you walk or run.

Running bikes are used by people of all ages for recreation and sport at a variety of levels - and they are an effective way of improving overall fitness, strength and well-being.

Despite considerable physical challenges, most users are able to use the running bike to propel themselves considerably faster than they can unassisted.

RaceRunning is an international disability sport in which children and adults compete with running bikes on an athletics track.

EVENTS range from 40m to 5000m, with current international events held over distances of 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.

Competitors are classified based on their disability.

It was started in Denmark in 1989 by two Danish Paralympic legends Connie Hanson and Mansoor Siddiqi.

In 1993, the international sports organisation Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association added RaceRunning to its regulated sports and it became international.

RaceRunning is now a sport in more than 15 countries and increasing in support.

In recent years it has been at major international disability sports events such as the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports federation World Games - IWAS being the founder of the Paralympics - and it has significantly lifted its profile and accelerated its international growth.

RaceRunning has now established a charity.

The first RaceRunning Club was formed in Scotland in 2010 with a great deal of hard work from Gavin's parents, Margaret and Peter.

Shortly after Race-Running Scotland began, three athletes with disabilities - Hannah Dines, Kayleigh Haggo and Gavin - were selected into the Scottish Athletics squad.

Its board is managed by Peter Drysdale, Janice Eaglesham, Ian Mirfin, paediatric physiotherapist Nicola Tennant, Shona Malcolm, from Scottish Athletics, and myself.

Nicola joined the team only recently and has accompanied the athletes aboard.

As a physiotherapist, her role is similar to that of physiotherapists working with any other national team.

Having knowledge of long-term neurological conditions and how a condition such as cerebral palsy affects the musculoskeletal system is important to improve sporting performance and to reduce injury risk for those taking part.

RaceRunning is a growing and developing sport worldwide and most people who have seen or watched it understand immediately its benefits.

It is astonishing the way people who use a wheelchair and never walk can get on a running bike and run 400m round an athletics track.

Sport

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