United in Stride continues to make an effort to recruit guides and visually impaired athletes, but there is always a need for a larger network. Here are some tips and tricks for building your network, and the network of United in Stride!

Connecting With Guides (for VI Athletes)

Join a running/walking club

  • Clubs allow for group structure which can make it much easier to go on scheduled walks and runs with a familiar group of guides on a consistent basis.
  • If you already have a guide, have them teach some of the other club members, otherwise, teach them directly! More often than not, members of a club are happy to learn to be a guide.
  • Contact local athletic stores

  • Many running and other athletic stores host group walks/runs of their own, and almost all have a store bulletin board where local races and upcoming events can be posted.
  • Call your local store, let them know that you are looking for guides, and ask how they can help. They can post something on their bulletin or social media, send an email to their members, and more!
    • Sample: Runner who is blind in [YOUR TOWN] looking for sighted guides to train with (you can also insert specific race if needed). Runs 3-5 miles at 9:30 pace. Willing to train so no guiding experience needed. Great opportunity to combine your passion for running with volunteering. Message us for more info.
  • Gyms and fitness centers are also a great place to reach out to.
  • Use social media

  • Research the social media accounts for athletic groups, stores, and races. Post or comment on their channels asking for help recruiting guides.
  • Facebook groups like Running Eyes are a useful place to post your guiding requests.
  • Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram too!
  • Use your current guide network

  • Have your guide invite one of their friends to come along for one of your walks/runs. The most effective way of making connections is through your already existing network!
  • Connecting with VI Athletes (for Guides)

    Blindness and Para Organizations

    Check your local area to see if there is an Achilles International or Team Red, White & Blue in your area. Or perhaps a Paralympic Sports Club that has a running component. Try to join one of their group runs as a way to network and learn how to guide.

    View a list of Para-Athletic Organizations here.

    Contact Race Directors

    Check out race websites to see if they have a para/adaptive or visually impaired division. It is likely that the race director of said race can put you in touch with some local runners who are visually impaired or connect you with the organization that is supporting the runners.

    Reach out to local schools (for students)

    Some schools may already have a cross country or track team that you can volunteer with. Connecting with the physical education department or athletic directors are good places to start.

    Visit our Users Under 18 page for more tips and information.

    Keep at it!

    Networking and recruitment take time and require a lot of patience. Not every attempt will yield results but keep after it. The athletic community is a special group of people who are very willing to volunteer and support. Lean on and work your networks and you will be successful.


    Looking for helpful tips on how to communicate and reach out to other members? Or how to safely guide a visually impaired walker or runner? Check out our resource pages and find additional information such as VI race classifications and gear to keep you visible to others.

    UIS Best Practices

    Person wearing a reflective vest holding a bullhorn.

    Building Your Network

    Visually Impaired runner and two guides drinking water during a race.

    Guiding 101

    Blind runner and guide holding a tether.


    Person walking on a treadmill.

    Additional Resources

    United In Stride printed tshirt, running hat, and handheld tether.

    Contact Us

    Reach out to us on our contact page.

    Contact Form