O'Regan and Kane in action in an ultra marathon last month. Gareth MacCauley/John O'Regan
Change Of Mind

Male guides now allowed for visually impaired athletes after Women's Mini Marathon u-turn

Sinead Kane had been originally told she could not compete because her guide is a man.

THE ORGANISERS OF the Women’s Mini Marathon have done a u-turn and will now allow a visually impaired and wheelchair athletes to compete with male guides.

The42 reported yesterday that Sinead Kane, who has just 5% vision in both eyes, was told she could not compete in this year’s event because her guide is a man.

John O’Regan — who has operated as Mark Pollock’s running guide —  was due to assist her during this year’s event on 1 June in Dublin.

But this morning on their Facebook page, the organisers released a statement confirming that male guides will now be allowed.

“The Women’s Mini Marathon Limited has reviewed its policy relating to visually impaired and wheelchair entrants. To preserve the female character of the event only females can enter.

“However, we appreciate that some visually impaired or wheelchair entrants need assistance. We have changed our policy in this respect and will welcome both male and female assistants for these entrants.

“Male assistants will be given a special permit to allow access, while female assistants can either enter the event or receive a special permit.”

O’Regan had stated yesterday that they planned not to run even if the organisers changed their minds.

“We’ve decided that even if they change their mind now, we would not be willing to take part as it just feels like we’ve had to fight for this and that’s wrong, you shouldn’t have to fight for the opportunity to compete.

“We might not be able to change the rules but we want to highlight how wrong those rules are.”

Visually impaired athlete told she cannot compete in Mini Marathon with male guide

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.