Gymnasium is fit for people with disability

Published: April 7, 2008  |  Source: stgeorge.yourguide.com.au
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Burn rubber: Program manager Simone Robins-Di Francesco shows wheelchair-bound residents Kim Morris (back) and Yvette Smith the ropes. Picture: Jane Dyson
Burn rubber: Program manager Simone Robins-Di Francesco shows wheelchair-bound residents Kim Morris (back) and Yvette Smith the ropes. Picture: Jane Dyson

A COMMUNITY-based gymnasium for people with a physical Disability has started in Sutherland Shire.

The Burn Rubber Burn centre is an initiative of the NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service, the RTA and the Police Citizens Youth Club.

The gymnasium is at Sutherland PCYC, next to Sutherland Leisure Centre, off Rawson Avenue, Sutherland.

Burn Rubber Burn was formed originally for people with a spinal cord injury, but the centres of which there are three in NSW have expanded to accept amputees and people with neurological disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, stroke and spina bifida.

Exercise physiologists trained in disabilities operate the gymnasiums.

Program manager, Simone Robinson-Di Francesco, said the centre was necessary because regular gymnasiums did not tend to have modified equipment, disability-trained staff or disabled amenities.

She said people with a physical disability found it challenging to access the health benefits associated with regular exercise.

“The sedentary nature of wheelchair confinement means these populations are even more susceptible to the co-morbidities associated with an inactive lifestyle,” she said.

Among the people at the new gymnasium is Sutherland Shire resident, Yvette Smith, who fell off a cliff on her Menai property 15 months ago. She is a Paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair.

She said the program was helping her achieve a normal body weight and that it was a good way to meet people in a similar situation.

Kim Morris of Bangor, who has been an incomplete quadriplegic for 28 years, said she had tried numerous gymnasiums in the shire, but none were able to provide equipment that was appropriate to her needs.

“We’re all talkers here though. So that’s the biggest problem, getting the exercises done,” Mrs Morris said.

Six-month membership to the Sutherland gymnasium, which is open twice weekly, costs $90.

By Deborah Field
Details: 0402 776 868.