Fitness for all abilities: New local health initiative launches

Luke Buttigieg, Sean Clarke, Josh and Elise Buss taking part in Ability Fit. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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St Clair coach Luke Buttigieg has teamed up with Think Fit gym to launch a disability specific exercise program called Ability Fit.

The online education and exercise program aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people of all abilities from around the area.

The 25-year-old Ability Fit Co-Director said he worked as a disability support worker for seven years before gaining his fitness trainer certification which inspired him to create the program.

“I had my own health journey and wanted to share my knowledge but with Coronavirus I didn’t know how to do it in a safe way for the people with disabilities who are more at risk,” Mr Buttigieg said.

“At the time I was working for the siblings Josh and Elise, who own Think Fit gym in Minchinbury, when they said they had systems in place to help, so we decided to do a joint venture.”

Working primarily with people with intellectual disabilities, Mr Buttigieg said the classes are beneficial on several levels.

“It is delivered via Zoom so they just follow along at home which means they don’t have to travel or pay a support worker to come sit there while they participate,” he said.

“Exercise is just a small piece of the health puzzle so we get the music going and they copy what we are doing, but we also chat about things that can improve their lives such as communication and budgeting.”

The sessions will continue to be held online but Ability Fit will also add an optional in-person component when it is safe to do so.

Co-Director Elise Buss said they are also planning to hold an in person ‘COVID Safe’ event at their Think Fit facility on Saturday, September 12.

“It will be at 9.30am and will include boxing, dancing, stretching, health related games and healthy snacks,” she said.

“It will be a lot of fun and all they need to do is let us know they are interested by emailing us at [email protected].”

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