Young people with severe disabilities experience running for first time thanks to sport

Granada Reports Sports Correspondent Mike Hall went to the Manchester Regional Arena to see the Frame Running club in action

Children with severe disabilities have experienced being able to run for the very first time, thanks to a sport called frame running.

Paralympic swimming champion Tully Kearney uses frame running as part of her training routine and is a regular at the North West's first frame running hub.

The sport, which uses specially-adapted trikes, is available to anyone with a neurological impairment, including cerebral palsy.

Tully, who herself has cerebral palsy, said it was the first sport she had found that allowed her to use her legs.

Tully said: "It means so much, not only for the mental health aspect, but the physical health benefit is just massive."

Now, a group, made up of all ages, train once a week at the Manchester Regional Arena, sharing track time with British Olympians and Paralympians.

The group train at Manchester Regional Arena. Credit: ITV News

The youngest in the group is five. The oldest is 32-year-old Mikey Pill from Runcorn.

Mikey said: "I take part in a park run every week.

"A few years ago, that would have seemed unimaginable. I never in my dreams thought I could run - or push - 5K."

Mikey Pill from Runcorn now takes part in park run every week. Credit: ITV News

What is frame running?

  • Frame running is an adapted sport for children, young people and adults who cannot functionally run and rely on sports aids for mobility and balance.

  • A frame runner is a three-wheeled frame where the athlete is supported by a saddle and body plate.

  • The athlete propels against the frame using their feet, and steers using the mobility within their hands or arms.

Eva Cope is another who has benefited from the life-changing sport.

"It is the first sport I've been able to take part in," she says. "It is really enjoyable."

It is now hoped those taking part in the club will help spur on calls for frame running to be included in the 2028 Los Angeles Paralympics.

"We're trying to highlight sports that are out there for those with more severe disabilities," Tully said.

"I don't want anyone at home, looking at the TV and not seeing themselves, and not thinking they can do it because they can."

You can find out more about Frame Running and where to find sessions at the Cerebral Palsy Sport website.