By Press Office 21 November 2019

An exciting athletic event which sees people swap their wheelchair and walking aids for a running frame or ‘RaceRunner’ has made its debut at a global sporting event earlier this month, thanks in part to research work at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (QMU).

RaceRunning, an innovative athletic event for people of all ages with limited mobility, is the focus of research being carried out by experts at QMU in collaboration with researchers at other UK Universities. The team is currently investigating the potential health benefits that this activity may have on the lives of children and young people with cerebral palsy. A second, separate research study is carried out into the evidence-based classification for RaceRunning which may lead to the sport being included as a para-athletic event at the Paralympics.

Earlier this month, RaceRunning made its debut at the World Para Athletic Championships in Dubai as a result of this research work being carried out by Dr Marietta van der Linden in collaboration with CPISRA (Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association), RaceRunning Scotland and the University of Edinburgh. This research is focused on the formation of a new classification system for RaceRunning to be used in international competitions and which will be based on scientific evidence.

Classification is a process where athletes are assessed by a panel of classifiers to ensure they can compete in a class of athletes with a similar impairment which allows fair competition to take place.

The team’s research in this area has already led to significant changes which will support the future development of RaceRunning at an international level. “Due to work carried out by our research team, RaceRunning featured at the World Para Athletic Championships, with the sport making its debut at the event in Dubai earlier this month,” said Dr van der Linden. “That was a major achievement and very motivating for QMU and our partners at the University of Edinburgh and CPISRA.”

She continued: “Once the new classification is in place, RaceRunning will be a potential candidate event for the Paralympic Games’ athletics programme in 2024. This would be an amazing achievement and we hope this will lead to greater international recognition of RaceRunning, as well as more opportunities for people with mobility difficulties to experience the benefits of RaceRunning.”

 

Notes to Editor

For media enquiries, please contact Karen Keith, Media Relations and Content Officer, by emailing kkeith@qmu.ac.uk or by phoning 0131 474 0000.

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