Vinod Patel BCAc
Vinod is 72 years old and for the past 40 years has been coaching local runners. Breaking away from the original organisation he coached, as they appeared to favour only ‘good’ runners, Vin felt everyone should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential, so started his own group called ‘Freedom Runners’.
Vin coaches a group of runners of all ages, sizes, nationalities and abilities. The group has just welcomed their youngest member who is pushed up and down in her buggy every Saturday morning by Vin, so her mum can run with the group. Some of the group run to keep fit and healthy, others to enjoy the social interaction and some take part in races all over the world. Vin treats everyone the same regardless.
The coaching Vin contributes is completely free, with total inclusivity. Everyone is welcome and he actively encourages everyone to motivate each other. He devotes much of his time devising individual training schedules for people running in competitive races and also provides programmes for those with smaller goals. He encourages all members of the group to include friends and family and even Vin’s disabled son comes and sits in his wheelchair, cheering the group on.