Inclusive fitness empowers our community

A young man smiling and exercising in the Empower+ Program at Richmond Recreation Centre

Our Empower and Empower+ programs at Yarra Leisure are now more accessible than ever, thanks to a partnership with AUSactive.

We’ve joined AUSactive’s All ABILITIES (Australia Brings Inclusivity to Life, Through Innovation, Transformation In an Exercising Society).

All ABILITIES facilitates education for fitness businesses and partnerships with disability service providers, which increases opportunities for people with disabilities and chronic conditions to access safe and effective group exercise.

“Our goal is to provide a safe, inclusive space, no matter who you are,” said Yarra Leisure’s Troy Hill.

Industry leaders including UNESCO Chairs, Inclusion Awareness Australia, Sport Inclusion Australia, Deaf Sport Australia and Blind Sport Australia are among supporters of the program.

Which program to choose: Empower vs Empower+

Our Empower program supports people with chronic conditions who require minimal support. It’s an inclusive, fun and supportive space to meet other people and stay fit.

This fun and inclusive program is designed to help you maintain an exercise routine and for the most part you’ll train independently, but a gym instructor will be there to support and guide you.

“The team create a supportive and welcoming environment where you can achieve your fitness goals, whatever your ability,” said Rossana, a program participant.

“The program has been super helpful in getting me back into regular exercise after the lockdowns. I’m planning to join the regular gym soon but will keep coming to Empower classes to make sure I’m exercising safely and to check my progress.”

Empower+ is a strength training session for people with disabilities who require a high level of support. This program is perfect for people who can use gym equipment with the support of their own carer, including upper and or/ lower body movement.

One of few in Melbourne, this wonderful program is not just about building strength and fitness, it’s about making meaningful connections with people who have a shared lived experience.

We schedule these classes during traditionally quieter times in the gym to provide a lower sensory experience,” Troy added. “Richmond Recreation Centre has recently undergone a number of facility upgrades including lighting, audio, energy and sound reduction upgrades aimed at providing more controllable inclusive spaces for those who may have auditory or light sensitivity issues.”

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