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11 Sep 2019

Are gyms catering for disabled people?
BY Tom Walker

86 per cent of fitness employees responding to the survey think that current training does not equip gym professionals to work with disabled people

86 per cent of fitness employees responding to the survey think that current training does not equip gym professionals to work with disabled people

A study has claimed that "millions of disabled people" are not being catered for at UK gyms and health clubs.

Issues highlighted in the latest Raising the Bar report include personal trainers (PTs) not being equipped to work with disabled people, fitness professionals not recognising disabilities and employers being unsure of how many of their gym members have a disability.

The report – based on a survey of the UK’s largest leisure operators and published by Future Fit Training – also shows that 86 per cent of fitness employees responding to the survey think that current training does not provide gym professionals with the skills to work with disabled people.

Furthermore, 61 per cent of respondents were unsure of what proportion of their customer base have a disability.

“The results of this survey are a wake-up call to the fitness industry that more needs to be done to cater for and engage disabled people," said Rob Johnson, founder and MD of Future Fit Training.

"They reveal the scale of the challenge that lies ahead to ensure that disabled people’s needs are recognised, understood and addressed in gyms and fitness establishments across the UK.”

Other results in the report – which has been published annually since 2014 and is supported by ukactive – showed that only 18 per cent of respondents thought qualifications related to engaging disabled people were important when recruiting new staff.

• To read the full Raising The Bar report, click here.



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