Today, in the inner south-west suburb of Marleston, a brand new accessible gym is now open, enabling individuals living with a disability to improve their physical wellbeing.
The Marleston-based gym is the second location for Enable Fitness Centre – one of SA’s best equipped accessible gyms and they say they’re only getting better.
“There’s only a couple of accessible gyms in SA – I only know of two others that are specific for people with disabilities,” says Co-Owner and General Manager, Zoe Darling.
“We are the biggest accessible gym in SA, with the most equipment. And the second one opening today is even bigger.
“We’ve got SA’s only hydrotherapy tank with underwater treadmill. It’s definitely the only one in South Australia, and potentially the only one in Australia. There’s really not a lot of gym services for people with disabilities, which is why we opened.”
Zoe’s husband, Ross Gray, is a fellow Co-Owner and Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist. The duo recognised a gap in the market for an accessible gym when Ross worked at the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre.
“My husband, Ross, used to work at the Hampstead, working with patients with spinal cord injuries,” says Zoe.
“People leaving the hospital service said there wasn’t anything in the community to maintain their health and wellbeing. They had to use personal trainers at mainstream gyms that aren’t accessible. Ross used to have to visit clients in their homes.
“[Enable Fitness Centre] looks like a normal gym, but you can do things like pull a chair out of equipment so a wheelchair can go in, and there’s more circulation space.”
Enable Fitness Centre is a registered NDIS provider, supporting people with a disability to improve their physical wellbeing through the provision of therapy and advice.
Their specialist gyms are exclusively available to people with a disability; they are accessible for wheelchair users and ambulant clients of all ages, with both physical and intellectual impairments.
“Sign up as a client, and we can provide one-on-one sessions or group sessions,” she said. “We provide exercise therapy under supervision of an exercise physiologist.”
As this service is classified as a therapy, it will be covered under each client’s NDIS package.
Because an exercise physiologist will always be present, Zoe says this ensures better service for their clients. Enable Fitness Centre currently has more than 200 clients who use the gym one to five times a week.
Enable Fitness Centre opened its first accessible gym in Holden Hill three years ago. Now, the team is excited to bring their services to Adelaide’s south-west.
“When we first opened in Holden Hill, we wanted to open close to the Hampstead Rehab Centre,” says Zoe.
“Recently in the past year, the spinal unit at Hampstead has moved to Repat Hospital. There seems to be a real community in the southern and western suburbs looking for this service, so we’re excited to provide better services in this area.”
The new Enable Fitness Centre is located at 229 Marion Road, Marleston. You can also find the Holden Hill centre at 614 North East Road, Holden Hill.