GoodGym for all
How GoodGym is for everyone
February 28, 2022
GoodGym has come a very long way in the last ten years, and not just in kilometres ran. GoodGym groups have evolved from runners doing good things in the places they live to encompass so much more.
For myself with a hidden disability GoodGym is so flexible, welcoming, enjoyable and aimed at everyone of all abilities.
This is what GoodGym means to GoodGym Newcastle TaskForce member Charlotte. Here we look at how GoodGym has helped members to break down traditional barriers to exercise and participation in a variety of ways.
Enter the walkers
GoodGym is totally inclusive and the friendships formed are incredible.
From 2018, we saw more walking options being offered at group runs. The ability to arrive at missions and community missions however suited you best was always there, and GoodGym members started to ask to have this option on Group Run sessions too. It made sense. If there are ways to take a shorter route, or leave slightly earlier, why shouldn't walking to and from starting points be just as effective? GoodGymers reported that this kept them involved when they were injured or simply didn't want to run. Val from Portsmouth walks to all her sessions. She said:
"It's great being part of the GoodGym family as a walking member. I feel completely part of the group, normally just setting off a bit earlier, along with anyone else who may want to walk. GoodGym is totally inclusive and the friendships formed are incredible."
Most GoodGym sessions are now open to those who wish to walk.
Two wheels to happiness
GoodGym actually got me into cycling and it’s now something I really enjoy doing
The addition of cycling as an option has also been a huge draw for many. As with walking, cycling was always available on missions and community missions, and allowed people to attend sessions further away than they might on foot. As in the option to walk at Group Runs, cycling allows GoodGymers to attend when running isn't possible or simply isn't something that they do.
GoodGym Cardiff member Imy joined the group over two years ago and found it gave focus and enjoyment to her cycling. She said
"GoodGym actually got me into cycling and it’s now something I really enjoy doing in Cardiff. I started using the rental bikes in Cardiff to get to missions further way like helping at parkrun. A friend from GoodGym came out with me a couple of times as I hadn’t cycled on roads much, as I used to live in a rural area before I moved to Cardiff. I cycled to a mission with a GoodGymer when I was still a bit nervous of cycling on roads. I then ended up getting my own bike and now cycle quite regularly in Cardiff. I have helped one of my friends get more confident cycling in Cardiff and rented bikes when friends visited Cardiff. I also cycle now to go shopping or to meet a friend rather than get a bus! It’s also great for getting to missions that I would usually avoid as they were too far for me to run to them."
No barriers to GoodGym
If I walked or ran past you in the street, you wouldn’t notice that there was anything wrong with me at all
For some, GoodGym sessions have given them the freedom to access new forms of exercise that may have not have been an option before. For TaskForce member Charlotte this has certainly been the case. She told us
"If I walked or ran past you in the street, you wouldn’t notice that there was anything wrong with me at all. Nobody would know that I have an invisible disability due to a rare genetic condition that I was born with and is estimated to affect 5,000 people in the UK. You would never guess that at the age of 30, I have had more fractures than most people will have in their lifetime.
"I’ve been a member of GoodGym Newcastle almost since the beginning in 2018. I went along to the 2nd session as I was initially shy about turning up on my own. I’ve now completed over 170 good deeds, I’m a keen Taskforce member and I’ve grown so much in confidence along the way.
"For myself with a hidden disability GoodGym is so flexible, welcoming, enjoyable and aimed at everyone of all abilities. I’m proud to tell people about my condition (it is something that I could easily hide and choose not to tell anyone at all). I can choose to walk, run and cycle to GoodGym tasks whenever I fancy. Every fitness session is always adapted so that there is something everyone can do to get involved. I’ve completed tasks whilst on crutches and also with a fractured wrist on a cast!"
We are committed to making GoodGym sessions accessible, and we would love your feedback on how we can make this happen for you.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org