Specialist fitness training for those less mobile

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The course was first run last September, when ASPIRE joined forces with YMCA Fitness Industry Training (known as YMCAfit) to offer fitness instructor training specifically for disabled people across London.

Seven of the nine students who attended the pilot scheme earned the qualification and four went on to find permanent employment.

Denise Page, director of YMCAfit, said: “We hope that learners will overcome barriers specific to the fitness sector and disability, such as a lack of disabled role models, difficulty accessing training and work venues, and an assessment structure which can be impractical for certain participants."

I was really interested to read about this initiative.  I often act for clients who find it difficult finding a gym that caterers for their needs following injury or one in which they feel comfortable attending regularly.  Clients who were previously very fit and active feel self conscious of their reduced abilities and one said to me recently that he felt that people were judging him against his pre injury fitness level.  This was a major disincentive to him going to the gym and really affected his self confidence.   

ASPIRE hope that by employing more disabled fitness instructors in the industry this will increase the number of positive role models and encourage greater participation in physical activity by disabled people, who are significantly less likely to meet the recommended levels of activity for health.

Claire Howard
Partner and Team Leader - Personal Injury Team.

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