More training for disabled athletes and what happened last time….

Disabled man with prosthetic leg, jumping in Patagonia.

Why? Because he can…

Regular readers of my blog will know that I have a lot of involvement with people with disabilities, especially the sporty ones. Late last year I worked with Kevin Jane (world champion powerlifter) and Mark Lewis (Lewis Personal Training) to deliver a strength and conditioning course for disabled athletes to prove there was a demand for this type of training and this year we organised a second course which confirmed the demand was out there! We have to say a huge thank you to the Northamptonshire Community Foundation with financial support from the Coventry Building Society Fund who made all of this possible 😀

The last course ended earlier this year and you can read more about it here. We thought it was about time we let you know how it went and to take advantage of this great opportunity to ‘plug’ the next one which is due to start on the 1st October 😉

The aim of the strength and conditioning courses is to provide disabled athletes with an opportunity to work with experienced coaches in a controlled and safe environment. This will allow them to develop and improve all aspects of their athletic performance. The courses are based primarily around the use of free weights with additional functional training to improve balance and core strength, together with advice on managing musculoskeletal issues such as posture and muscle imbalances.

strength and condtioning disabled athlete chest press

One of the athletes working hard!

We knew there was a demand for this type of training, but even we were surprised when 14 people turned on the first night and we averaged 9 per week after that. While primarily aimed at people with a disability, some of the athletes able-bodied family members also got involved.
We feel that the course more than delivered on our original aim with results that exceeded our expectations. The feedback from the course has been excellent and here are some of the nice things people had to say about it:

CU – “The opportunity of this program has lead to me going from in terms of speed very mid field rate to one of the top 2 or 3 in the team. Thanks to this I fully intend to take advantage of any future opportunities like this.”

CD – “The course has impacted my life every day in that transfers from bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to car, wheelchair to loo, wheelchair to basketball wheelchair have all become noticeably easier, putting less stress on vulnerable joints and with fewer ‘failed’ transfers where I have ended up on the floor in the past.
Within the sport, I feel as if I get off the line quicker with stronger initial pushes and have no problem playing a full match.”

CT – “Thought the course was perfect for improving physically both in cricket and general life. Can see definite improvements in my muscular strength, endurance and core stability in particular.”

RW – “I feel the course is very good and I hope it keeps on going. I feel it has benefited me in my sport and personal life.“

strength and conditioning disabled athlete core strength

Working on core strength using an elastic band 😀

And finally this is what BG had to say: “I thought the course was excellent, and the guys running it were exceptional in their assistance. I play sport because I love sport, but it does increase my pain levels – for instance, I am very stiff after cricket, especially the morning after. I have determination to not let my disability get in the way, but I fear my efforts often mean I over exert myself. I know exactly what I have to do but getting my body to do it is a different story. I would love to continue this weightlifting as I do feel it helps my strength and flexibility which is poor! I’d be keen to have some follow up sessions with Sollus Healthcare as some of the advice really worked – I’m trying to do the stretches he advised me to do. I’d like to thank the coaches for their patience and can’t wait to continue the sessions should they happen again. “

disabled athlete deadlift

How to do a deadlift (and get a ‘personal best’!)

As I said the next course is due to begin on the 1st October and will take place at The Farm Weightlifting Club based at Moulton College, Northampton. Email me with your details if you would like some more information or to reserve a place as numbers are limited and spaces are likely to be filled pretty quickly.


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