Greater access to sport as running comes to Launceston | The Examiner

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Launceston residents were treated to a Tasmanian premiere for the physically disabled on Thursday afternoon at the Elphin Sports Centre. Running is an activity in which people with physical disabilities are supported by a specially designed tricycle – but without pedals – which allows the rider to walk or run while supporting their torso. Kevin Faulkner, sports development manager for ParaQuad Tasmania, said running had been used for some time on the mainland, but this was the first time the activity had been introduced to Tasmania. READ MORE: ‘Targeted dredging’ for Tamar planned despite scientific report. “The important thing is just his freedom, you’re giving people the opportunity to do something they’ve never done,” he said. “For a person who uses a wheelchair to be able to get out of that wheelchair and move freely and run…just to be able to run.” Some competitive sports have been developed around running, but Mr Faulkner said the beauty of the activity is that anyone can get involved. READ MORE: Hotel Gorge height issues quashed, but what happens next? “Just try, you can do something new or different and it will give you a great experience, not only to do it competitively, but you can also go for a run in a park, walk the dog or whatever,” a- he declared. “It’s just about giving people the opportunity to participate.” He said the cost of a frame runner could run into the thousands, but for many the device was covered by the national disability insurance scheme. Attendees at the event ranged in age from adults to teenagers and even children, with one participant, two-year-old Felix, taking to the new sport like a duck to water. READ MORE: Increase in cases of kidney failure Felix’s mother, Claire Waiss, said that due to his disability, Felix could not walk independently, but still enjoyed hanging out with his family. “He loves to go out and do things,” she said. “He has a little sister, so we’re always looking for new opportunities for things that Felix can be included in, that he can do with his sister, and just have access to the community with his family. Ms. Waiss said said that Felix might not yet walk unaided, extra stimulation of his legs would help develop the necessary muscles and cognitive functions. “Part of his brain barely grew when he was in the womb and he so he’s missing a lot of his brain,” she said. “Any activity like this that uses both of your legs or both of your hands creates new pathways through the brain, which is amazing for Felix, so things like this are really helpful for him.” The prospect of Felix and his sister engaging in the same type of physical activities was something that excited Ms. Waiss the most. something like getting up a while running here , that means that in the future, Felix and his sister Lily could potentially do Little Athletics together for a weekend at the same time,” she said. “As a parent of a child with a disability, it really makes me feel good that we can have these things.” Andrew Chounding is the Examiner’s health reporter, if you have a health related story please email [email protected] Our reporters work hard to provide up-to-date local news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content: Follow us on Google News: The Examiner

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