Kids Plus Foundation is the first organisation in Victoria to receive RaceRunners from Denmark. Three RaceRunners arrived in Victoria, with two going to the Geelong-based Foundation and the third to a private household.
A RaceRunner is a cross between a trike and a walker that was first invented in Denmark in the 1990s to give people with cerebral palsy the option to compete in running events.
“RaceRunning is an innovative sport for people with a disability who have impaired balance and who are not able to functionally run. Using a custom-built RaceRunner, athletes are given the freedom to move with the RaceRunner supporting their balance,” Kids Plus Foundation physiotherapist Louise Daniels says.
Jacob Walsh [pictured with his mother Willeke] is one of the many young people with cerebral palsy who have benefitted from the RaceRunners, with the trike becoming a part of his physiotherapy at Kids Plus Foundation.
“I wanted to use the RaceRunner to run faster and to do more sport,” Jacob says.
Jacob currently plays basketball and aspires to compete at a national level in tennis and basketball.
“The decision to purchase RaceRunners for Kids Plus was driven from families,” Louise says. “The kids who have trialled the RaceRunners have had a really positive experience with comments such as, ‘Mum, look at me I can go fast’ and ‘I don’t want to stop running’.”
Kids Plus Foundation is actively working with local coaches in Geelong to increase the opportunities for children to use RaceRunners in regular sporting activities and athletics competitions.
A third RaceRunner is currently on its way to Kids Plus Foundation and is expected to arrive in June this year.
These RaceRunners were able to be purchased thanks to fundraising from the Batman Management Group Bellarine Cup Day and other in-kind donations.
Kids Plus provides specialist physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology services to children and infants with cerebral palsy and neuro-developmental disabilities.
Find out more on RaceRunners and the sport here.