Thousands turn up for first Parallel London event for all abilities at Olympic Park
PUBLISHED: 08:48 05 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:19 05 September 2016
The world's first fully accessible and all-inclusive mass participation push-run event had thousands of people taking part at the Olympic Park.
The first Parallel London fun-run family festival yesterday was exactly four years on from the London 2012 Paralympics and staged to highlight the opening of the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Volunteers took up the challenge in five races—the 100m, 1km, 5km, 10km and Super Sensory 1km.
Four-out-of-10 runners and pushers were taking part with a disability, with some 500 carers supporting them.
“It was really special to take part in a race with my family,” amputee Victoria Milligan said. “I ran the 1km with my son and the 5km with my girls.
“Being an amputee and also a personal trainer, I encourage people to move their body no matter what their ability.”
The Super Sensory 1km run—a “multi-sensory” challenge with 100 people taking part—was tailored for those with profound and multiple disabilities, those on the autistic spectrum and those who need sensory support.
It was showing that if the environment was accessible, more people will get physically active and live healthier lives.
But it also brings people of varying abilities together, as Parallel London’s Andrew Douglas said: “This landmark event shines a light on diversity and an inclusive society.”
The free festival, which also had entertainment and workshops on six different themes, was a not-for-profit event which also set up a platform for voluntary fundraising, where beneficiaries become benefactors for the first time.
Organisers are hoping Parallel London will become an annual national event on the UK calendar.