July 31, 2019
This story is about a really great Community Mission I was involved in on a sunny Saturday in June. Thirteen GoodGymmers headed to the Mile End Stadium for the 43rd Metro Blind Sport Athletics Open to help run the day.
The athletics competition was set up for blind and partially sighted people to compete in different track and field events. Olivia Parker-Scott organised with Metro Blind Sport a Community Mission for GoodGym to be involved in.
The day gave a brilliant opportunity for newcomers to try track events including running, jumping, and throwing, in a fun, relaxed atmosphere supported by qualified coaches. It was open to all ages and gave partially sighted and blind people access specialist coaching.
The flexibility of the Community Mission allowed a few of us to run the Mile End Parkrun beforehand and then help at the ‘Come and Try’ session of the event. It was a great session giving young people access to sporting opportunities they wouldn’t usually have. Under the Coach Chris’ guidance, we were taught the basics of being a guide and what to look out for.
I assisted Jack, a partially sighted and excited boy, with running and long jump. The running and keeping Jack within the lane lines proved difficult enough, let alone matching his pace; a real challenge! The long jump was quite tough for Jack especially when counting running paces to the line he couldn’t see before jumping into the sandpit; a great feat of confidence. This was a very humbling and inspirational experience.
There were varying levels of confidence and skill amongst participants, but by being involved as a guide I gained a greater appreciation for the challenges overcome as a participant and some difficulties of being a guide too. It was a really fun day in the sun supporting a great competition at the running track. I hope to be involved next year!
Here’s a tweet for fellow GoodGymmer, Patrick Luong:
Loved this! Truly inspired and humbled by all the athletes and honoured to play a small part in enabling blind and visually impaired people to participate and achieve in track and field.— Patrick Luong (@patrickluonguk) June 23, 2019
And a bonus to hang out with Naqi, a regular at @finsburyparkrun! What a small world. https://t.co/VrQeLprEgp
I have really enjoyed being part of Community Missions: they are often flexible, involve other charity and community organisations, and give the opportunity to meet other people from GoodGym and the local community.
Here are some other Community Missions I have enjoyed:
Tree Musketeers (led by Eva Sharpe) – Burying some diseased baby trees at a tree nursery to stop spread of disease - at the tree nursery at Hackney Marshes (an amazing place) we dug a big hole in the earth. Report here
Night of the 10,000m PB’s (led by Graham Atkins) – marshalling at this annual racing event set up by Graham with elite athletes competing (the fastest time was a 27:49 10K!) #Lane3BeerNCheer. Report here