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The Forum’s vision for an active community

The Forum’s vision for an active community
June 14, 2011

The Forum Health & Wellness Centre in Newcastle is working in partnership with Vision Australia to help people who are blind or have low vision participate in gym classes.

During an eight-week program, participants have been shown how to safely navigate the layout of the gym, learn how to use resistance machines, perform free-weight exercise correctly and participate in aerobic classes.

Group participant, Bruce McAllister, said that the program gave him independence to attend the gym and use its facilities, stating "I would not have considered trying to navigate a gym in the past without the assistance of a personal trainer. Staff made us feel comfortable and
they were excellent at adapting to individual needs, no matter what level of vision you had."

Vision Australia's Team Manager Newcastle and the Hunter, Mark Walters, said that working with individuals and organisations in the local community was essential to help achieve an inclusive society for people who are blind or have low vision.

Walters explained that "Vision Australia congratulates The Forum for taking this very positive step to assist our clients who are looking to improve their personal fitness through exercise. We value the support of organisations like The Forum that make a difference to the lives of people who are blind or have low vision."

The Forum's Fitness & Personal Training Co-ordinator, Dean Tasker, said that the program reinforced the need for The Forum to be easily accessible to everyone in our community adding "we are enthusiastic about finding ways to help people who are blind or have low vision and, with the assistance of Vision Australia, we hope that local residents will soon feel confident attending The Forum."

Forum Chief Executive Chris Hicks says that the Forum is committed to working with Vision Australia to provide access to practical and functional activity at the gym.

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