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Meet running partners Josiah & Scott
Josiah is an almost 18 year old young man who lives in Sydney with his parents Michelle and Roger and 2 younger brothers Eli and Solomon. Josiah is in year 12 and looking forward to finishing school at the end of the year. The other big thing that is happening this year is training for the City to Surf (an annual 14km run that is held in Sydney in August each year). Over 80,000 people will be running in the City to Surf in 2015. Josiah will be the first person with Down Syndrome to enter and complete the race.
Overseeing Josiah's preparation for the big day is his long term friend and personal trainer Scott Bridges. Scott got to know Josiah when he was working with Down Syndrome Association NSW, met the family and they starting running together. Josiah and Scott have completed a few smaller runs together including the Santa Fun Run in 2012. After a short break from running they have teamed up again in 2015.
Scott commented; "We were looking for a bit of a challenge and something to work towards so decided to train for the City to Surf. For Josiah to run 14 kms would be like a marathon everything is harder for him but he motivates me and works hard so I'm confident we can make it".
Josiah and Scott are also regular faces at their local Park Run group in Lawson.
"Park Run is such a great initiative as anyone can come along and get started with exercise. They can run, walk or ride a bike around the track whilst catching up with friends."
Josiah's family are also keen runners. Josiah's brothers run along side Josiah with their friends at Park Run acting as a support crew. Josiah's mother Michelle feels this has been the key to Josiah having a go and staying active.
"Josiah loves to social aspect of keeping fit. He looks forward to seeing people at Park Run or training at the gym. Josiah has a network of people who help out by running along with him. Park Run has been such an inclusive activity for our whole family", Michelle said.
To find out more about Park Run visit www.parkrun.com.au
See Josiah and Scott in action! -Youtube clip- Josiah and Scott running
When Josiah is not running he stays active in the gym. Josiah has been going to the gym since he was 14, currently has two personal trainers and loves to attend gym classes with friends or family.
Josiah's mum Michelle says that supporting Josiah to access the gym has been about making small adjustments and helping others understand how Josiah learns best.
"Sometimes it's about slowing down the exercises or being creative to help Josiah learn what to do. When we started going to boxing classes I used different coloured gloves so Josiah could follow left and right hand movements. The staff also used this colour coding system. They were really open to adjusting things so Josiah can join in"
Now Josiah is regularly working out with a trainer alongside people his own age.
"It is so great to see Josiah as part of a class with guys his own age and giving every exercise a go"
Also view this infographic from Scott Bridges - tips for training people of all abilities.
Need some more information about helping people get started in sport? visit: theinclusionclub.com