On Friday 31st May 2013 Stef Reid (Paralympic Silver Medalist – long jump), John McFall (Paralympic Bronze Medallist – 100m sprint) and Paralympic coach Tim Stevenson, joined nine amputees (aged between 7 and 56) for a running day hosted by Proactive Prosthetics. Most of the amputees were new to running , some of them trying running blades for the first time. One or two have specific goals in mind including Kiera Roche (an above knee amputee) who plans to run in the London Marathon in 2014.
The day, which started with some motivational talks and tips on prosthetic running techniques was followed by an afternoon at Charterhouse Club athletics track.
Stef Reid spoke of her love of sport prior to her accident and her subsequent return to sport and journey to becoming a Paralympian. ‘Don’t listen to people who say you can’t [do things], just do it,’ said Stef with a big smile ‘but do listen to physios and coaches who will teach you how to get fit and stay fit to do your sport.’ She added ‘As an amputee it is even more important to be fit and strong to enable you to do more in your life. It feels great …..I want to stay fit so that I can still walk when I am older.’
John McFall spoke of his Paralympic experience. Now, a trainee doctor, John sets himself different goals such as the Welsh 3000’s Challenge which he dashed off to do the next day. ‘I am off to test the limits of my new prosthetic knee!’ said John with a grin. ‘I am really pleased that events like these are happening. It is great to see the Paralympic legacy in action.’
On the Charterhouse Club athletics track, in glorious sunshine, the session started gently with some warm up exercises and culminated in a sprint race, long jump and hurdles. The amputees were joined by some family and friends on the track which made for a fun afternoon for all.
Tim Stevenson (coach) who held the undivided attention of the junior athletes for the afternoon was very inspired by the day. ‘I had a great day and I really enjoyed meeting all these budding athletes.’
Richard Nieveen, Director, Proactive Prosthetics commented that it was very special to see patients out on the track having fun. ‘We work with patients to make more possible. The Paralympic movement has increased awareness of possibilities for amputees and we are fortunate to be able to offer new technologies in sports prostheses for our patients. It is particularly good to see the next generation of budding athletes who will grow up using these new technologies.’
Sarah Hope, mother of Pollyanna (aged 9) said ‘Thank you for a truly wonderful day!!!! It was so much fun and Pollyanna loved it.’
Proactive Prosthetics would like to thank Charterhouse Club for the use of the athletics track for this great event. Charterhouse Club Commercial Director, Tim Ostle, said “We are proud to be able support Richard Nieveen and Proactive Prosthetics in the tremendous work they do for amputees and were delighted that the clinic’s first Running Clinic held on our athletics track was such a success.”