Dunfermline: Pitreavie Frame Running Club needs more volunteers

A PLEA for volunteers has been launched by the Pitreavie Frame Running Club.

The only one of its kind in Fife, the club allows children with disabilities to run and walk using a Frame Runner, a custom-built tricycle without pedals. With the success of the Paralympic events at the Commonwealth Games, the group wants to grow their club and give budding athletes in the region the opportunity to be part of the bigger picture.

The club’s head coach, Pierette Melville, said: “This is not a plea for help but it’s just to underline that we really need volunteers. We have closed the group down a bit during the covid because we didn’t want the teenagers and volunteers to help as the children are disabled and very vulnerable but we are now open to a more normal group session and the other coach is gone.

“It’s a fantastic club, the kids love it and it’s really a fun time but we really need more help. Some of them need one on one to run around the track, it is therefore a call for help for the Duke of Edinburgh’s volunteers that we have used in the past but also for any parent, adult or young person who wishes to get involved in disabled sport as a helper or volunteer, we would love to have them.”

Currently there is Pierette, as head coach and two other adult volunteers who have completed an assistant course. They need to expand this team so they can provide more people with this life-changing opportunity.

She continued: “We really need more people, and I wouldn’t mind another full coach showing up to work with the kids, because it’s a lot for one person!

“There aren’t a lot of clubs specifically for these severely disabled kids. These kids, some of them can’t walk at all and some need help, but if you put them on the bike, they can walk and run a lot better.For them it’s a wonderful opportunity to get out and move and be part of a club, they love being part of a club.

“Then, of course, there’s support for the parents. They come in and you hear them chatting next door and we’re barbecuing together.”

Children can also participate and win medals in competitions, it is a chance for them to experience this part of childhood, join clubs, participate in competitions and win prizes.

She told the Hurry: “You see their smiles and you’ll know exactly what I mean. I’ve seen parents cry when their child wins their first medal.

“Any volunteer that comes will get a lot of support from myself and the two more experienced volunteers and we’ll give them easier kids to start with. If more people come to volunteer I might even expand the age range because than the minute they drop off when they’re around 17 or 18, but I get so many requests from older people who want to come and I just can’t make it.”

It would also allow them to have more people in their sessions, at the moment they can only accommodate 12-13 children aged 3-16. Pierette and her team would like to offer the experience to more people. For this, however, they need more help because those with great needs would need individual assistance.

To get in touch with Pierette about donating time to the club, contact her at [email protected] or follow the club on their Facebook page, Pitreavie Frame Running Group. Sessions take place at the Pitreavie Athletic Center on Mondays between 4:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.

“Everyone who comes to volunteer leaves feeling better!” She added.

About Debra D. Johnson

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