Oregon gym helps adults with disabilities

Clients build physical, social strength

By Nick Krupke
Copyright 2019 CNN

Creating a lasting impact on the physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of adults with disabilities through group athletic training – that's the mission of Every Body Athletics.

BEAVERTON, Ore. - Creating a lasting impact on the physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of adults with disabilities through group athletic training – that's the mission of Every Body Athletics.

Physically and mentally for those kids out of high school looking for an outlet to get some movement and some community, that's what they have here with Brad Franklin.

A Westview High and University of Oregon graduate in special education, Franklin has created quite the place of inclusion.

"After graduation, there just isn't a lot out there so you see a lot of physical regression but a lot of social regression as well," Franklin said.

It's a place serving up social and emotional needs for young adults 21 or older.

"A lot of people who come here, this is their only source of physical activity and a lot of the time too, this is the only socialization that they get," said Oregon State sophomore Morgan Truair. "It's just done in such a fabulous and phenomenal and fun way. They just get an experience out of it like they can't find anywhere else."

Partners and athletes unite with about 150 volunteers for 13 weekly classes over the three Every Body Athletic sites in Beaverton, Tanasbourne and Tigard and they've all got a good feeling.

"I love just coming here and watching them be happy because having a brother with disabilities, I see that other side of how difficult it can be," Truair said.

Beaverton High School graduate Ryan Guthrie said, "It feels like, awesome at first and you get to greet new people and have a great time hanging out with them."

"To know that I am helping them and they are helping me… I walk out with a much better mood," said Tigard High School graduate Kyleigh Layman.

EBA is building social strength just as much as the physical part.

"Before you can jump in and do an exercise, you have to answer a conversation starter question first to continue to build that language," Franklin said. "Some of our athletes are great and will give an answer right away and maybe talk too much and some of our athletes we are just focusing and drawing out that language as much as we can."

Nearing a third year of operations for a better community, Every Body is in search of its own permanent space and expand their reach.

"It's really humbling to come here and it's just incredible to watch them just live their life and embrace their disability and I think this program just does that exactly," Truair said.

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