Jersey holds first official training session for voluntary guide runners

  • Around 30 people took part in the first official guided runners' training in Jersey and I joined them for the session

Visually impaired runners in Jersey could soon get more support after the first official training session was held for people to help guide them.

Around 30 volunteers took part in the workshop where they learned safety skills and the importance of communication.

There are currently no officially registered guide runners in the island, something England Athletics and local sight impairment charity Eyecan want to change through this scheme.

Eyecan Chief Executive Mark Coxshall explained: "In excess of 3,000 over-65s in Jersey suffer with sight loss, we also know that through more national statistics that 1 in 5 people will suffer with sight loss.

"In terms of their physical and mental well-being, it's a really, really positive opportunity".

Jennifer Stafford who is severely sight impaired already benefits from guided running that is organised locally.

She hopes adopting the official scheme will encourage more people to help out and in turn, allow others who are visually impaired to take up running.

She said: "I couldn't run without it because I have very little sight so I now only have perception which means I know when it's light and when it's dark.

"I don't actually see anything so for me to go out and do a run, I have to have somebody beside me and put my trust in them."

More information on how to become a guide runner in Jersey plus further support for those who have a sight impairment can be found here.

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