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Education & Training


The Richard Whitehead Foundation is a charity focussed on providing sport and physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities. The Supported Runners Project was a way for disabled runners to be provided with a volunteer support runner throughout their journey preparing for and taking part in a mass participation running event.

Our Approach

Sport Structures was commissioned to create an online course for volunteers to complete in order to learn how to become an effective support runner. Our approach included creating and collating content that would help provide volunteers with all the strategies and information they would need to support runners with a range of disabilities. Once this content had been approved by the Richard Whitehead Foundation, we then used online software to design and create the course. Whilst designing the course, we maintained a focus on the learner experience, ensuring that the content was clear and engaging but also provided all the relevant information support runners would need. One challenge that was overcome was creating a course that was accessible to learners yet didn’t feel like a test as the priority was the volunteers learning the relevant information rather than being tested and potentially put off. Being a support runner is obviously a significant role however it is important runners aren’t rigid but have empathy and understanding as the driving force of their relationship with the disabled runner.

Support Runners at Event

Runners have been able to learn and become a support runner with 3 of them attending the London Marathon as support runners. The course now can be used for any upcoming running events and will help to encourage more volunteers to get involved with the project.

“Just wanted to say a massive thank you - this looks amazing. Superstars, all of you”

Julie Hayton, Programme Manager

Online Learning Course Preview

Interested in finding out more?

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