Recently, I took part in a Fit4Life Women’s 5K Series in Sligo organised by Sport Ireland. The Walk to Run (or walk to push as the case may be) lead in programmes were for women of all abilities. They were a cool experience to bring our community closer together. There were a lot of laughs and a lot of smiles. I think we need to make a habit out of this!
We got a fabulous evening for a walk/jog/run around the beautiful 5k route in Doorly Park, Sligo. I admit I push there regularly a couple of times a week so I was slightly prepared having a good feel for the terrain! Walkers got a fifteen minute headstart from runners/joggers and I must say they were so sweet giving me a further fifteen mins and allowing me to use my smartdrive on hills.
“No matter how slow you go you are still lapping everyone on the couch”
Physical activity can help support mental health and wellness among all cohorts of individuals;minimizing symptoms of depression, diminishing anxiety and increasing resilience to stress.
Beyond the benefits to body and mind, participation also promotes inclusion. Social communication, activities of daily living and quality of life all improve with exercise — not only for the person with the disability but their families as well.
“ It was a cool experience to bring our community closer. There were a lot of laughs and a lot of smiles. I think we need to make a habit out of this”.
Multiple, well-identified barriers stand in the way of those with disabilities who want — and absolutely need — to be active. when it comes to adapted programming for those with disabilities, they are distinctly lacking.
Everyone, no matter what their background or circumstances, should have the opportunity to engage in sport and physical activity at a level of their choosing
Sport and physical activity are central to the fabric of life in Ireland. As citizens of this state, people with disabilities have a right to be active within their local communities.
The solutions aren’t necessarily complex. They require involving individuals with disabilities, and thinking inclusively as an integral part of planning health promotion and public health campaigns.They need coaches, staff and peers who are friendly and welcoming.