This running group has been set up for people with Down’s Syndrome in Manchester

Image: ITV news

The Didsbury Runners, are one of the first running groups in the country to organise a weekly night for people with Down’s Syndrome. The Manchester-based group meets at Didsbury Sports Ground every Wednesday to go for a run together, with the goal of keeping fit and staying active.

Grace Stockdale, one of the founding members of the club, told ITV news: “I first started running when I did the Manchester 10K with my two sisters for a local charity Friends for Leisure

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“[Running] is brilliant really, it’s brilliant. Each week we run a circuit around the park. I’d say [to those sat at home] to have a go, have a try, all the volunteers are encouraging, and welcoming and will find you a group suited for your ability. I would strongly recommend The Didsbury Runners for any disabled adults who enjoy sport, including running.”

According to the NHS, “around 1 in 10 people with Down’s Syndrome have problems with their thyroid gland”. This can result in a lack of energy and weight gain.

Yvonne Hung, one of the run leaders at The Didsbury Runners explained the importance of the group, telling ITV, “Earlier this year, the Down’s Syndrome association contacted us, they have a DSActive programme to encourage people with Down’s Syndrome to become more active. They came to us to see if we could pilot this running session.”

When asked whether she thinks there is a need for more groups like this, Hung added “Absolutely, I think about 70% of people with Down’s Syndrome are obese or overweight and we really need to reverse that. Being active is really important to your mental wellbeing, your physical wellbeing and it’s really fun and sociable too.”

To find out more about the session, head over to The Disbury Runners website