Even before the pandemic, people without disabilities had numerous options to workout virtually using live apps like Peloton and thousands of professionally produced online videos. For people with disabilities, however, remote fitness options were limited to a handful of dated videos and a few workouts on YouTube.
BORP believed our community deserved more opportunities to stay active and healthy. And for this reason, in 2019, we applied for and received a grant from the Kelly Brush Foundation to research the option of creating virtual workout options for people with disabilities.
On March 8th, 2020, using Kelly Brush funds, BORP had just wrapped production of our on demand video, Move to the Beats, when the pandemic really hit the US. The next weekend shelter in place issues were ordered and the vision of BORP’s online fitness platform quickly became a reality.
On March 28th, 2020, we hosted our first online class, Rumba with Tina on Zoom. Other classes quickly fell into place, and over the next few months BORP created a full line up of strength training, yoga, dance, tai chi, Pilates, and other innovative classes. These are taught by a group of talented and dedicated instructors who bring knowledge, experience and creativity to the workouts.
Since that first class, more than 700 people have registered for BORP’s online classes from across the United States, Canada, Mexico and beyond! And every week, over 100 participants take part in at least one of our nine weekly online classes. Many have written to us to tell us how much they value this program.
In the words of one participant, Stella, “I’m so blessed to have discovered BORP classes. All of you do a fabulous job every day to improve our lives. A simple thank you does not seem enough to convey my gratitude.” While another attendee, Lynne stated, “Your Zoom classes have been terrific! Your instructors are both skilled and fun and I get good workout. I have seen great improvement in my upper body and core muscles.”
Countless other participants have also expressed how important BORP’s online classes have been to their sense of social connection during what has been a very challenging time.
Given the popularity and success of our classes, BORP looks forward to continuing offering virtual fitness programming beyond the pandemic.