Community 29.07.19

Best foot forward at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park as it welcomes another Olympic event

Race walking sessions have begun at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park – offering the opportunity to participate in another Olympic event.

Helen Elleker, President of the Race Walking Association and race walking coach in Sheffield, will lead the sessions from 6.30pm every first, third and fifth Monday of each month.

Available for children aged nine and up, and adults of any age, Helen – who has represented England and Great Britain many times including at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and 1991 World Championships – is encouraging the public to try race walking as an alternative to, or alongside, running to improve fitness.

Helen said: “Race walking is ideal as a low impact exercise which helps people to get fitter without the pounding of running. There is also the opportunity to compete in race walking races.

“It’s a way of getting your heart pumping just as much as running or any other sport but without as much stress on the knees and other joints.

“In each session we cover race walking technique and drills, general fitness exercises and race walking practice. The session lasts for approximately 90 minutes depending on the level of fitness and experience of the walker.

“The area of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park between the Oasis Academy and the 3G pitch is ideal for race walking. It offers a good surface, is traffic free, and we can easily use it for a 1km circuit without encountering any hills. I’m really excited to get started!”

Currently, more than 120 athletes are training at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park for Olympic and Paralympic glory at Tokyo 2020. Sports include Wheelchair Basketball, Boxing, Paralympic Table Tennis, Paralympic Badminton, Diving, Swimming, Trampolining, Athletics, Cycling, Climbing, Equestrian and Paralympic Equestrian.

The Rt. Hon. Richard Caborn, project lead for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said: “We’re delighted to be adding another Olympic event to the Park and race walking is an excellent way to improve your fitness, increase your endurance and enhance flexibility of your muscles and joints.

“We’re very proud of our outdoor community facilities and activity events – from Urban Cyclo Cross right through to South Yorkshire Orienteers there’s something for everyone and race walking is another excellent addition.”

Helen’s sessions alternate between Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and Sheffield Hallam University’s Woodbourne Road Track. There are also monthly races held at Millhouses Park. For more information, email Helen at