We Care initiative
19/10/2017

#peopleofdelaware care for people with disabilities

Exercise and playing sports offer obvious advantages: better health, increased endurance and a more robust physical and mental resistance. This is doubly true for people with disabilities. #peopleofdelaware Denis Dushaj and Jelle Hoste take a personal interest in sports for the disabled, and under the banner of delaware’s WeCare initiative, they set up an initiation session in CrossFit for people with disabilities along with 13 colleagues.

 

 

Some 20 people attended the initiative, paid for by a charity drive set up by Denis and Jelle’s team

No rules, great training

The event took place on October 11 in 666 CrossFit in Zedelgem (near Bruges, Belgium). CrossFit is a fitness regimen that combines elements of interval training, weightlifting and calisthenics, among others. While adopted by about 13,000 gyms world-wide, 666 CrossFit is the only one of its kind in Belgium where people with disabilities can follow training. And as a sport to get introduced to, it doesn’t require rules knowledge or technical skills, unlike football or basketball for the disabled.

Some 20 people attended the initiative, in addition to 10 coaches. The session was paid for by a charity drive set up by Denis and Jelle’s team – colleagues could skip the free soup at the office and buy home-made soup from Denis and Jelle instead. delaware itself took care of the goodie bag and the decorated medals at the end of the session.

Like no one's watching

The event was a great success. With every individual free to choose their own difficulty level, there was no competitiveness and no stress about not being able to meet benchmarks of some sort. In fact, stress was virtually absent: because everyone who was there had a disability, no one felt too self-conscious or perhaps stared at, as might happen in a regular gym. This welcoming environment created a warm group dynamic and emphasized how sports and exercise can help build communities.

The head coach and the participants were all happy with the event. A second introduction session has already been scheduled and the original participants can keep coming back for free until New Year! delaware is proud to see its WeCare initiative strengthened by motivated and socially conscious people like Denis and Jelle, and excited to see the CrossFit introduction made such a positive impact on the participants.
Authors: Denis Dushaj & Jelle Hoste. You can connect with Denis and Jelle on LinkedIn.