Big Fit Walk, with a difference…!

18th Jun 2018 | Written by Gemma Simpson

Walkers of all ages turned out in Glasgow (Wednesday 13 June) for a Big Fit Walk with a difference.

Not only did participants take a walk together as part of Paths for All’s annual campaign, they also had a go at cycling during the city’s first Big Fit Duathlon at Glasgow Green.

Standard and adapted bikes were on hand from charity Free Wheel North while the event was supported by Triathlon Scotland’s Participation Officer, Craigie-Lee Paterson, who is championing a range of come-and-try initiatives in the lead up to the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.

The event was organised through Glasgow Sport walking project Good Move Walking which oversees 43 health walks across the city every week.

We find that through the walking programme, people get the confidence to try other activities. Heather Macleod, sport and physical activity officer with Glasgow Sport

Heather Macleod, sport and physical activity officer with Glasgow Sport said:

“We wanted to do something a bit different this year and we wanted to dovetail in with the European Championships in Glasgow.  The triathlon is one of the disciplines at the championships so we worked with Triathon Scotland to put on a come-and-try event.

“We also knew about the excellent facility that Free Wheel North had here and thought it would be a great way to broaden people’s horizons and encourage them to have a go at cycling. We find that through the walking programme, people get the confidence to try other activities.”

Two sessions took place over the course of the day, involving almost 70 people. Walkers mingled with tourists and locals around Glasgow Green before putting on helmets and cycling around the park.

Bikes for people of all abilities provided by Free Wheel North included trikes, adapted cycles and a red, six-seater conference bike, one of only two in the country. Walkers and walk leaders from Glasgow’s health walk programme joined in the fun, supporting yet another Big Fit Walk in the city.

“It was great to see so many people reminded that you never forget how to ride a bike! As I rode round the route chatting to the participants, several vowed to get their bikes out of the shed and to get out cycling. Thanks to Heather and her team for agreeing to mix things up a bit. If anyone has a group who might be interested in a multi-sport event then please get in touch” Craigie-Lee Paterson, Participation Officer, Triathlon Scotland

Among them was Aileen Reid who has been a walk leader in Queens Park for almost four years.  She said:

“The great thing about the health walks is that people don’t need any special equipment, they just come as they are. Their fitness improves and they meet new people and make new friends.

“You definitely do see a change in people who have been coming to the walks for a while.”

Now in its 15 year, the Big Fit Walk is Paths for All’s annual walking campaign which encourages people to walk together during June and celebrate the benefits of being physically active.

Last year, over 200 walks were held involving thousands of people from Shetland to the Scottish Borders.
To find your nearest walk or get support and resources to organise your own, visit www.bigfitwalk.scot, and to develop your walk into a duathlon, please contact Craigie-Lee craigielee@triathlonscotland.org

 

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