YUMBA BIMBI PARTICIPANTS: They have taken part in the CrossFit Vivid weekly gym workouts.
YUMBA BIMBI PARTICIPANTS: They have taken part in the CrossFit Vivid weekly gym workouts. Contributed

Participants pushing the limits

A SIX-WEEK collaboration between CrossFit Vivid and Yumba Bimbi Support Services has provided participants and coaches with plenty of exercise tips, advice, and - most crucially - support, fun and inspiration.

CrossFit Vivid Member Services coordinator and coach Gayle Kruger said it wasn't just the participants who had enjoyed the weekly workouts, it was the gym staff as well.

She said some staff had said that the classes with the Yumba Bimbi participants had become their favourite session of the week.

"The coaches have loved having them. They're so positive. They totally embraced it and we didn't make it easy for them. It was tough. We were all high-fiving them at the end.”

Ms Kruger said the fitness sessions, with the help of two coaches per session, had motivated and encouraged participants to test their limits with the workouts including a mix of cardio, weights and gymnastics.

"It really pushed them physically and mentally which is really good,” she said.

"Even though they were short workouts, the intensity was there and they were encouraged to stop if they wanted.”

She said some people had already enquired about continuing with mainstream classes at the gym and committing to a regular exercise schedule which "they would be more than capable of doing”.

Ms Kruger said classes could be "scaled” and adapted as needed, and the CrossFit training method could be used to work with all fitness levels.

Yumba Bimbi Support Services manager of community access and learning and lifestyle program Kerri Downie, said the program had been very popular and she was glad some participants were keen to extend their workout commitments to a regular exercise practice.

Ms Downie said the gym had catered for the varying disabilities in the group and the individual needs of each person, and had been a boost for the physical and mental well-being of participants.

She said the weekly activity also reflected the Yumba Bimbi mission statement and core values about building "inclusive” communities.

"An activity like this gives participants another outlet where they can be in the community and meet new people, while also promoting health and fitness and active lifestyles,” she said.

"They've been doing burpees and push-ups and exercises that we thought they might not try. We didn't know if they would do it or if they would enjoy it, but they've all given it a go and they have just been active.”

Ms Downie said the collaboration had between the gym and Yumba Bimbi had also made her grateful to live in a community where people care for each other.

She said the weekly exercise slot had also been important as it provided participants with an opportunity to develop friendships and a circle of "informal support and people they can say hello to when they're out in the community”.

Yumba Bimbi support worker Niamh Lynch said said it had opened up a "whole new world” for participants.

"They have thoroughly enjoyed each workout and the challenges that have been set by the amazing coaches. 

"To see participants encouraging each other, pushing through what they thought was impossible and creating networks is what we're all about.”