Running Made Possible for People with Disabilities
SINGAPORE – More than 50 members of Runninghour gathered at the Toa Payoh Sports Complex for their morning run. Unlike other running clubs, members of Runninghour include people with intellectual disabilities and people with visual impairments.
According to United Nations Enable, sports help reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with disability. It highlights the skills that individuals possess and reduce the tendency to see the disability instead of the person.
Runninghour is an inclusive running club where volunteers serve as running-buddies for members with intellectual disabilities as well as guides for visually challenged runners. Guides are required to undergo orientation and training before they are able to guide visually challenged runners safely.
Guiding techniques recommended by the American Foundation for the Blind include verbal direction as well as running with a tether that links a visually challenged runner to the guide. The tether provides a physical lead in addition to verbal directions.
With the help of volunteers with Runninghour, people with intellectual disabilities and people with vision impairments can be a part of the running culture that is fast growing in Singapore. SGRunners.com lists a total of 19 marathons held in Singapore between February to August 2013.
Members of Runninghour are training hard and looking forward to the Standard Chartered Marathon in December 2013.