Disability Athletics

 

The club welcomes athletes with disabilities and will always try to support them. Charlotte Cox running for team GB

In most cases athletes with disabilities join in our main training groups.  If there is need for special equipment or training for our coaches or other volunteers we may find it difficult to help but will always be ready to discuss options.

C&C offers opportunities for people with all kinds of disabilities to take part in athletics. There are runners with conditions such as Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy and visual impairment, and there is also a dedicated group of wheelchair racers.

The club has also recently gained funding for some RaceRunners to start a new phase in club capability.

wheelchair athletics

Wheelchair Athletics

C&C gained its first wheelchair racers a few years ago, and since January 2015 has run sessions for a group of wheelchair racers once a week on Monday evenings.

 

About our groupWho can come along?TrainCompeteContactDisability FAQI’d like to try it, but...

About our group

At C&C we place a strong emphasis on getting fit as a goal, aswell as encouraging and enabling athletes to compete if they want to, but it is not a requirement.

If you are nervous, please talk to our coaches and come down to meet up with the other athletes.

We are expanding our capability with coaches and equipment, so please get in touch to see if we can fit in your specific requirements.

If we can, we support other athletes with disabilities if it’s possible/sensible for them to work alongside the wheelchair athletes rather than join a different C&C group. This enables an simpler and more gentle phase into the club and to see if one of the other groups may be possible later on.

Please contact wheelchairs@cambridgeandcoleridge.org.uk for further information.

Who can come along?

Wheelchair racing is suitable for anyone with a disability affecting one or both legs – be it paralysis, amputation, impaired co-ordination/muscle tone, leg length difference – all kinds of things! It’s also appropriate for people with conditions which affect their health more widely or who, for whatever reason, find walking (and running) difficult. Many of us also have additional problems related to our disabilities (e.g. limited arm function, autonomic disorders and so on).

You do not have to be a full-time wheelchair user to come along.

The group is friendly and welcoming, no matter who you are. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, what your disability is or how it affects you, how fit you are, whether you want to do it for fun or to race, or what age you are – anyone can come and take part!

Please contact wheelchairs@cambridgeandcoleridge.org.uk for further information.

Train

Day Events Location Time
Monday Wheelchair Sports centre 6:00pm

Contact wheelchairs@cambridgeandcoleridge.org.uk

Upcoming Disability Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Compete

We compete in several competitions through the year:

The athletes are encouraged to enter the Cambridgeshire County open T&F events in the spring and summer – there are usually three events – and the County T&F Championships.

We also encourage our athletes to enter the Eastern Regional Disability T&F Championships where there are competition opportunities for athletes with most types of disability (e.g. amputees, Cerebral Palsy, visually impaired, learning difficulties etc).

Athletes can also progress to other Disability event series such as those run at Stoke Mandeville on a regular basis, or those run by disability specific organisations.

For wheelchair athletes favouring longer distances there is:

  • GEAR (Great East Anglian Run) which is a 10k in King’s Lynn in May in the past – it’s a big event, probably the biggest 10k in the region
  • Great Eastern half marathon in Peterborough in September.

We have previously had winners in both events and we are currently trying to find a few more appropriate road races.

For the national competitive events, the current 2019 list is here.

Please contact wheelchairs@cambridgeandcoleridge.co.uk for further information

Upcoming Disability Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Disability FAQ

What should I wear?
Most of the kit is the same as you’d get for running, and you certainly don’t need to spend much on it. At winter time, long leggings and long-sleeved tops (possibly with a body warmer) are ideal. The thinner your layers, the more comfortable you will be in a chair. It’s best to wear plenty of layers on top initially that you can remove as you warm up, but bear in mind that you need as much shoulder movement as possible. We tend to wear fluffy socks instead of shoes but this is a personal choice. Wheelchair racers also wear helmets (just normal bike helmets) and gloves. The gloves are expensive and can be borrowed from the club until you know you want to continue. Helmets can also be borrowed but if you prefer to bring your own then that’s also fine.

What should I bring?
Lots of layers, a bottle of water, maybe a snack – and not much else! When we train off the track we also wear a hi-viz top and attach bike lights to the chairs.

How long does the session last?
Usually about an hour. We don’t just push solidly for an hour though, and you can work at your own pace.

I’d like to try it, but…

I’m not very fit / I’m worried I’d get left behind – this is the perfect way to get fitter, and we don’t leave people behind: you can work at your own pace, starting from any level. Our coaches plan every session so that we can all train together – at the same time and in the same place, just doing different distances – regardless of how fast or experienced you are.

I’ve never tried something like this before – we all remember how it felt to be a beginner! The group, the coaches and the club in general are all so welcoming that you’ll be well supported from the start. Give it a go and see if it’s for you.

I’m not sure I can afford it – wheelchair racing doesn’t have to be expensive with C&C. Your first three sessions are taster sessions – you do the same session as you would as a member, but you don’t have to pay. After that, there is an annual membership fee (currently subscription rates are listed here), but there are very few extra costs. The club has racing chairs, gloves and helmets for members to use in training sessions and to take away to races, and there is no ‘session’ fee. If you choose to race, you pay to enter races but these are often inexpensive. Membership of C&C includes membership of England Athletics, which gives you a reduced entry fee for road races.

I don’t know if I have the ‘right’ disability – the best way to find out if wheelchair racing is right for you is to come and try it. The nature and degree of impairments varies very widely within the sport. Some wheelchair racers have tetraplegia whereas others are able to use their arms and even walk fairly well – it takes all sorts!

I don’t think I want to do it competitively – whilst there are plenty of opportunities to race, it’s certainly not compulsory. Wheelchair racing isn’t just about ‘racing’, it’s also about getting active and meeting new people – and we have a lot of fun!

I think I’m too old or young – you probably aren’t! As long as you’re fit enough to push the chair yourself safely – even for short distances – then you can come and give it a go.

I have a learning disability as well as a physical disability – not a problem, you are as welcome as anyone else. Feel free to bring a parent/friend/carer if you think that would help.

I’d need a bit of help (e.g. transferring, with kit, etc.) -you can bring someone with you who you know well and who is used to the help you need if you like. Alternatively, our coaches are very well trained in assisting with all sorts of things!

I’m not really disabled, but it looks really fun – it is fun, but so is running! There is a limited amount of equipment that can be loaned to people who really need it, so if you want to train with the group on a regular basis, you really should have a permanent disability which dramatically affects your ability to get around on foot. We realise that it’s a pretty cool sport and we enjoy giving able-bodied people a chance to see what it’s like. The best way to do this is to join the club as a runner and/or a coach, get to know us, then ask us directly!