FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Elaine Beale, Director of Development
Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP)
BORP Releases First Professionally Produced Fitness Video Created By and For Wheelchair Users
May 11, 2020
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, many of us have been forced to find new ways to exercise at home. For non-disabled people, there are almost limitless choices of online fitness activities, but for people with disabilities there are very few choices. Berkeley nonprofit organization Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP) is helping to fill that gap.
Within just a couple of weeks of the Bay Area’s Shelter-in-Place order, BORP established its Online Fitness Studio, offering a menu of live exercise classes through Zoom. And today, BORP announced a new on-demand option for the disabled community with the release of a groundbreaking new workout video, Move to the Beats.
Available free online, Move to the Beats is the first professionally produced workout video led by a wheelchair-user for wheelchair-users. It provides a fun 30+ minutes of high-energy moves set to Latin and club dance music. Funding to produce the video was provided by the Kelly Brush Foundation.
Move to the Beats is led by JanpiStar, a dancer with the renowned Axis Dance Company. Says Janpi, “It makes me really happy to be part of this project. Like everyone else, people with disabilities need to exercise. Now they will have the opportunity to use this video as a tool to work out at home any time they need it.”
Located in Berkeley, CA, BORP has been providing adaptive sports, fitness and recreation programming for people with physical disabilities since 1976. Its regular programs include a fitness center, an adaptive cycling program, outdoor recreation, and a variety of team sports. Due to the pandemic, those programs are on hold.
Says BORP Executive Director, Rick Smith, “We were already planning to offer online adaptive fitness classes, but now the need is even more compelling. Because people with disabilities are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, many are completely confined to their homes. Right now, providing online exercise options for our community is critically important to support their health and well-being.”
BORP’s Online Fitness Studio currently features four weekly live classes: Inclusive Functional Strength Training; Contemporary Dance; Rumba; and a live Move to the Beats class. Offered on Zoom, the classes not only provide a great way for people of all abilities to stay fit and healthy, but they also offer a sense of community and connection.
As word gets out, the numbers of participants in BORP’s online classes is increasing and people are joining from all over the US. In addition to hosting the Move to the Beats video, BORP’s Youtube channel will soon feature recordings of its live classes. BORP is planning to add more adaptive classes soon.
Having online adaptive fitness options makes a real difference for people with disabilities. Says regular participant, Leslie Krongold, “There are so many online exercise opportunities, yet few actually meet my needs and abilities. I’m enjoying the online BORP offerings. Not only are they fun and a real workout, but I love seeing everyone’s faces on the screen.”
Adds Judith Smith, a wheelchair-user who regularly joins BORP’s live classes, “BORP online classes have rocked! Without them, being stuck at home would be far less bearable.”
Anyone interested can visit BORP’s Online Fitness Studio https://www.borp.org/borp-online-fitness-studio to find out more.
About Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP):
Established in 1976 and located in Berkeley, CA, BORP is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health, independence and social integration of people with physical disabilities through sports, fitness and recreation programs.
In addition to the Online Fitness Studio, BORP’s programs include: an adaptive cycling center on the San Francisco Bay Trail; an adaptive bikeshare program in San Francisco; an adaptive fitness center; adult and youth team sports in wheelchair basketball, power soccer, goalball and sled hockey; recreational outings and activities; Access Northern California (a website with detailed access information on recreation and outdoor destinations); veterans’ programming; and a wheelchair-accessible transportation program.
For more information about BORP, go to www.borp.org.