A gym for all abilities

Boom Power Performance Coaching is a newly established and independent gym set up in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

Managing director and head coach Glen Morgan singlehandedly created this gym which accommodates everyone in mind – from individuals with severe visual disabilities, wheelchair users, to the visually impaired & hearing impaired, individuals with challenging behavioural disorders, mental disorders and confidence issues.

It’s the first kind in the surrounding areas of Milton Keynes that allows a diverse group to participate in fitness, with exercise machines and equipment fitting for their conditions and furthermore without feeling the weight of someone’s judgment.

“I’ve worked in co-operate chains for the last ten years, so I’ve come from normal sales guy to normal membership consultant to head membership consultant. I got right to the top and every single gym I went too I gave this idea motivating people with disabilities, or people that have merging behavioural challenges, to give them something extra,” Morgan told Artefact.

Head coach Glen is seen smiling with two of his clients who have cerebral palsy and are active members of the gym

Business manager and head coach pictured with his business associate Jake and one client who both have cerebral palsy [Glen Morgan]

The mainstream gyms in his area, however, rejected this idea and claimed it would be too costly to incorporate facilities for those with disabilities.

Morgan took their refusal as motivation to leave his high position job and construct a gym directed for this particular demographic, to prove to them that it can be done.

In an interview with the BBC, the disabilities charity Leonard Cheshire said gyms are often a “crucial first point of entry” to physical activity, but a number of disabled people felt they were “no-go zones” with “inaccessible changing rooms, steps, poor staff training and lack of usable sports equipment” cited as common barriers.

With more than 7,000 gyms within the UK, Activity Alliance lists just 56 gyms across England that incorporate facilities for people with disabilities. A large fraction of these gyms are dotted around London. This otherwise proves difficult for individuals who have the desire to exercise but may be from small town areas.

Boom Power is an extension of Glen’s family home in Brooklands. The father-of-one poured his savings into this business concept hoping it would open prospects for individuals like his business associate who manages the technical side of the gym, Jake, who has cerebral palsy.

“It was made purpose built for these guys and everyone full inclusion, but these co-operate chains didn’t want to spend a penny to even get a ramp in there and get any adjustable facilities in there. I thought it was a joke.” Glen comments. “They pigeonholed members of society that needs our help.”

This innovate gym has been built fully purposed and customised to tailor the needs of his wide-ranging clientele. It has a variety of high-quality adjustable equipment’s, a ramp which allows several wheelchair users to come and go in one instance, and types of equipment that are catered for the visually and hearing impaired.

Glen has further subsumed a number of training programs, fitness plans and ensures he’s kept up to date with the progression of his clients, who have also become his friends.

“Mainstream gyms have a very niche market. They don’t do any follow-ups, and they’re happy about taking money. I know this because I’ve worked in them.”

Glen is helping his client who suffers from a disability use one of the equipment that is catered for him.

Head coach Glen Morgan with one his clients. [Image: Glen Morgan]

Boom Power currently has 50 members, but Glen hopes this number and his gym will soon expand with the hopes of sponsorships and investments.

Regular gym user James who has cerebral palsy commends Boom Power for giving him the opportunity to strengthen his muscles, as previously he had to pay for physiotherapist to do so.

“Boom Power means the world to me,” James tells us. “Boom Power allows me to exercise my body to my full potential. I’m currently progressing with my walking that I wasn’t able to do for a long period of time until I joined this gym.”

Boom Power Performance Coaching is open for everyone with the mindset that there should be no judgements made on each other’s appearance and their abilities – which is progressive as gyms have become an intimidating establishment purposed for body-builders and abled bodies that know what they’re doing – rather for beginners and disabled individuals.

“My purpose for the gym is inclusion, for happiness, for goal setting, for achieving,” Glen concludes.

 

 

 

 

For more information please visit www.boompower.co.uk.


Featured Image by Glen Morgan