Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Crossfit principles and values are about promoting functional fitness to enable people of all abilities to improve their health and wellbeing, to become fitter and stronger for the challenges of everyday life, which also includes adaptive athletes.
An ‘Adaptive Athlete’ are individuals with physical or neurological disorders, amputees, wheelchair users and other long-term injuries which limit access to able bodied fitness facilities and sport. Adaptive Crossfit focuses on developing lifelong health, wellbeing and fitness to prepare athletes of any ability to live independently. It is unique to all other sports because it can be tailored to the individual needs and capabilities through structured programming within a group or one to one, using various skill combinations and devices/equipment.
Adaptive athlete Alec Zirkenbach discovered the benefits of Crossfit following a tragic injury serving in the navy, leaving him hospitalised for months requiring multiple surgeries to regain his loss of function and sensation in his legs as a result of a spinal cord injury. Alec found rehabilitation and recovery a demoralising process, until he joined Crossfit. Despite the paraplegia and loss of function, Crossfit enabled him to rehabilitate, contributing significantly to his recovery in terms of walking again and living independently. He returned to work and is now an advocate for Adaptive Crossfit and its use in rehabilitation.

Within the local community, Gain Fitness sits within the Wensum electoral ward of Norwich, which has a high social deprivation and health inequality. 1043 (8.7%) of the 11,993 people living in this area report their day-to-day activities are limited by long-term illness or disability. Sitting outside of this area is the Bowthorpe ward that has 1080 (9.1%) and Mancroft ward, which has 1254 (12.9%) meaning that 3377 people with a long-term disability or illness are living within a one-mile radius of Gain Fitness (Norfolk Insight, 2017). Gain Adaptive is central to engaging these people within the immediate local area, as well other areas of Norwich and Norfolk, to help improve their self-esteem, independence, health and wellbeing.

Gain Adaptive aims to make Crossfit accessible to all adults in the local area who have a disability or impairment to enable an increase in their health and fitness. With the support of Gain Fitness and their excellent facility, coaching expertise and supportive community atmosphere, Gain Adaptive has the perfect foundations to offer this unique resource. Two Gain Adaptive coaches are recognised Crossfit Adaptive Trainers in this specialised area, showing we are committed to the delivery of this project long-term. Gain Fitness brings together likeminded people who enjoy the process of becoming stronger and healthier, providing a community of support for each individual. The atmosphere and energy during a workout with a group of people cheering until the last person finishes is like no other fitness facility, which not only improves health, fitness and independence, it builds friendships and social interaction that can transfer into everyday life. Gain Adaptive wants to ensure this facility, community and environment is accessible to all. At present it has a number of barriers, including: a lack of specialised equipment and accessible showering facilities. With the help of the Aviva Community Fund, Gain Adaptive will be able to to maximise its accessibility by allowing the purchase of specialised equipment, such as ski ergs (for athletes who use assistive devices or a wheelchair), adapted seats and handles for rowing machines, adapted benches and blocks for weightlifting, and a range of exercise bands, straps and weights for a range of impairments. The Funding will also provide an accessible shower and changing facility to allow adaptive athletes the space to attend to their hygiene needs in privacy and with dignity, which would also be accessed by those in the wider community.

Gain Fitness

Moment of Pride

Gain Adaptive strives to provide an innovative and holistic approach to health and wellbeing for those with disabilities and impairments, promoting functional independence through the principles of Crossfit. Gain Adaptive is unique to the UK given its aims of provision within the local community.

Location: 1b Guardian Road, Norwich, UK