Sunderland Echo

Virtual fitness classes boost for the disabled

- David Sedgwick @sunderland­echo

Virtual fitness classes are being held to help disabled people keep active and make new friends during the lockdown.

Tailored Leisure Company (TLC), the social enterprise behind Sit to be Fit, have secured funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Hadrian Trust to run the free classes in 2021.

People aged 16 and over who have a physical disability or long term condition can choose from Relaxing Iyengar Yoga, Strength-Building Arm Exercise to Feel-Good Boxercise – all done via Zoom.

The seated exercises are tailored to support people with a variety of mobility abilities, deafness and blindness.

Tara Johnson, Founder of Tailored Leisure, said: “Fitness and lack of access to gyms for disabled people, and in particular due to the unpreceden­ted Covid 19 sit

uation, leaves people both mentally and physically isolated and is the key reason I set up the Sit to be Fit programme through TLC.

"I’m delighted to have secured additional funding to take this project into 2021, it has come at an optimum time and I am looking forward to supporting more people over

the next few months.

“Fitness and wellbeing are so important and can’t be underestim­ated, the virtual classes we ran previously have reached people nationally, in particular in some tier 4 areas and the positive feedback from these classes has shown there is a strong need in the community for tailored and accessible fitness.”

In addition, funding from the Comic Relief Community Fund and Groundwork­s will create classes to support young people aged 12 to 16 with disabiliti­es and special educationa­l needs.

TLC have recently launched a funding drive through their Access for All campaign to support the developmen­t of an accessible short break and leisure complex, called ‘Butterfly of the North’, for individual­s with disabiliti­es and their families.

A £200,000 target has been set towards the £1.5million needed overall.

To make a donation visit­ng/tailoredle­isure

Tara, from Whitburn, added: "I am overwhelme­d by the response we’ve had from families and in particular young people within the North East being brave enough to share their stories.”

To sign up for the fitness courses visit www.tailoredle­

 ??  ?? “Fitness and wellbeing are so important and can’t be underestim­ated.”
“Fitness and wellbeing are so important and can’t be underestim­ated.”
 ??  ?? Tara Johnson, Founder of Tailored Leisure.
Tara Johnson, Founder of Tailored Leisure.

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