Worksop’s Rafi Solaiman is flying the flag well for frame running
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The 23-year-old won World Championship silver in July in a British 1-2 and was a popular figure at the recent CP Sport National Athletics Championship.
Solaiman has seen a growth in the discipline, which is continuing to push for Paralympic inclusion, since taking up the sport.
“There were a few frame runners there, a few new faces,” Solaiman explained. “I felt like a bit of a role model to them because there were these young people who were just starting out frame running.
“I felt like a bit of an old-time legend, and I talked to some of them and then was asked to present medals to some of the athletes as well.
“It feels really nice to be looked at in that way and it shows that all of the effort and the hard work I have put into race running has come to this and I love it.”
Solaiman is continuing to battle an ankle injury that disrupted his World Championships preparation, although it did not show as he finished just 0.12 seconds behind British teammate Gavin Drysdale in Paris.
The Charnwood Athletics Club athlete is now entering winter training with one eye on an appearance at the next World Championships in Kobe next May.
Solaiman is one of 50 young athletes supported by Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, as part of their long-standing partnership with SportsAid.
Frame running is an athletic discipline where people use a three-wheeled running frame with a saddle and body plate where athletes use their feet to propel themselves forward.
While the sport is slowly growing in the UK, Solaiman is proud to be a vocal advocate for the discipline, explaining how it helped him rediscover sport following a stroke aged 12.
He added: “It has given me a sport that I can do because I really struggle with a lot of other sports.
“Trying race running has just been perfect because it has helped with the social side as well as the physical side. And it is good for my mental health, it is great.
His mother Jackie added: “There is not an awful lot of choice available to Rafi, at least athletics-wise, because of how his condition affects him.
“So, if a sport could have been made for Rafi, I think it would have been frame running.”
Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit entaingroup.com to find out more.