Jump­ing for the dis­abled

Stirling Times - - Front Page - Denise S Cahill

THERE is noth­ing more re­ward­ing for Nikki Wood, of Scar­bor­ough, than see­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties from her Gyma­bil­ity and Rebound pro­gram gain more mo­bil­ity to en­joy life.

The Peak Tram­po­line man­ager and head coach started the pro­gram, based at Lords Recre­ation Cen­tre, ear­lier this year work­ing with chil­dren and adults, in­clud­ing sev­eral in wheel­chairs.

Each par­tic­i­pant works with their carer and a coach on a pro­gram that suits their needs and abil­i­ties.

Rod­ney (45) has cere­bral palsy and was largely wheel­chair bound when he first started but strength and con­di­tion­ing coach Saia WoodHalafihi, Ms Woods’ son, soon had him out of the chair and start­ing his ses­sions on the tram­po­line.

“When he first came to us his mus­cles were very tight but now we have him stretch­ing out like a starfish,” Ms Wood said.

“His mo­bil­ity is ex­cel­lent now.”

An­gela (35) has gone from sit­ting in her wheel­chair or ly­ing on the floor to stand­ing us­ing bars and do­ing core work. “Her time out of the chair and mo­bil­ity have in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly,” Ms Wood said.

The for­mer phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teacher was work­ing as a deputy prin­ci­pal in the UK spe­cial­is­ing in be­hav­iour and spe­cial needs three years ago when she got a call from her sis­ter, burns spe­cial­ist Fiona Wood, to help ex­pand the schools pro­gram at the non-profit tram­po­line club she co-founded in 2009.

Af­ter get­ting the nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tions in the UK, Ms Wood moved to Perth two years ago and has boosted the club’s mem­ber­ship from 70 to 450.

Ms Wood said the most cru­cial part of the Gyma­bil­ity and Rebound pro­gram was put­ting to­gether an ex­cep­tional coach­ing team.

Jack Petrie and Naomie Ding are coaches on the pro­gram join­ing phys­io­ther­a­pist Les­ley Walsh and Mr Wood-Halafihi.

Ms Wood works with a di­verse group of peo­ple from elite com­peti­tors, in­clud­ing her niece Eva Kierath, to peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and says each has dif­fer­ent re­wards.

“We have such a di­verse range of pro­grams and to me it’s just about see­ing any­one – whether they’re from the recre­ational pro­gram, squad, team fu­ture or spe­cial needs – achieve a little thing,” Ms Wood said.

Pic­tures: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d474388

Scar­bor­ough res­i­dent Nikki Wood, man­ager at Peak Tram­po­line and head coach, with client Rod­ney on the tram­po­line.

Phys­io­ther­a­pist Les­ley Walsh works with Rod­ney who has made great progress since on the pro­gram.

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