By Natalee Kerr
A new device allowing children with cerebral palsy to run has arrived at a Geelong organisation in a Victorian-first.
Kids Plus had two of three RaceRunners in the state after the third went to a private household, the organisation announced this week.
The custom-built device was a unique cross between a trike and a walker, said physiotherapist Louise Daniels.
“It helps support balance and increases freedom of movement, allowing children with impaired mobility to run,” she said.
“The kids just love the speed it allows. They love seeing how fast they can go.”
The device could help users compete in running, Ms Daniels said.
“Previously with running there were limited avenues for kids with cerebral palsy. Now kids could have the opportunity to represent Australia at the Paralympics.”
Kids Plus was now working with coaches across Geelong to spread the use of the Danish RaceRunners, which cost around $4000 each, Ms Daniels said.
“Kids with disability have previously struggled to keep up with their peers and tend to not do as much physical activity. It would be great to get the kids participating in their local little athletics, fun runs or school sports with the RaceRunner.”
Ms Daniels said Geelong’s RaceRunner’s were assisting six kids with cerebral palsy but she anticipated “quite a few other families” would be keen to use them.
Melbourne 12-year-old Jacob Walsh said he was using the device when travelling to Geelong for weekly therapy.
“I wanted to use the RaceRunner to run faster and do more sport,” he said.