A new gym has recently opened its doors dedicated to disabled people wanting to keep fit, but are struggling to find convenient clubs to suit their needs.
DR Inclusive Fitness Gym welcomes members with a disability, just in case you are wondering the letters are a reference to Dale Robertson, who founded the gymnasium Midlothian, Edinburgh.
The club also offers rehabilitation, personal training and peer support for people living with long term health conditions.
Three years ago Robertson launched his own company, DR Inclusive Fitness, which provides personalised programmes for its members.
When researched revealed 19% of UK adults have a disability he realised there was a demand for gyms to cater for members find it difficult to join a standard gym.
Robertson told Edinburgh Live: "DR Inclusive Fitness is more than a gym – it’s a place for Disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to develop new skills, develop in confidence, and gain peer support from other Disabled people. Having worked with Disabled people for over fifteen years, I’ve seen the isolation and loneliness that Disabled people can experience by not having the chance to meet their peers with similar lived experiences.
"I’m proud that we can now offer a place for people to meet, connect, and live healthy and active lives.
Dale Robertson standing next to a DR Inclusive Fitness branded van
John Bateman is one of the members of the gym and says he is very grateful for Dale for opening the doors to people with disabilities.
He said: "I got in contact with Dale at the start of 2020 to find out more about personal training and whether he could help me to build my mobility levels as a wheelchair user. Little did I know that in a few months we’d go into lockdown, but I kept in contact with Dale, and we worked on developing my strength and mobility as much as possible ready for when the gyms reopened.
"When I first visited a commercial gym with Dale, it quickly became clear that a lot of the equipment wasn’t accessible for me. Working together, we managed to overcome some of these obstacles but having access to a dedicated gym for people just like me has given me the chance to achieve goals that I never thought were possible."
DR Inclusive Fitness gym supports over 30 disabled people and others with long-term health conditions.
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