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Blog: “I love being active with my brother”

As the sport and activity sector gets ready to open its doors again, Activity Alliance remains committed to ensuring disabled people can be and stay active. We are especially mindful that there will be even more disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, who feel isolated and less active. Our blogs explore the different ways disabled people are moving and staying active, while at home.

Harrison being active in his garden

Until the sport and activity sectors open back up, there are many ways to continue enjoying an active lifestyle. This includes adapting activities so everyone in the household, disabled and non-disabled, can take part together, or on their own. We’ll be sharing experiences of disabled people and how they are staying active during this time.

Today we hear from Harrison and his mum Jo. They’ve been keeping active together as a family in creative ways! One way has been through Gympanzees, a Bristol company that provides physical activity opportunities for disabled children and their families through pop-up gyms.

Harrison's blog

Hi, my name is Harrison and I love running, jumping!

Harrison lives in Bristol with his younger brother and mum, Jo and dad, Tom. Jo tells us how they have been staying active together as a family with Gympanzees.

“We love the activities Gympanzees provide. We do most of ours inside. We’ve been getting creative and added ropes and ribbons for play. I have also been tying things together and making traps.

We’ve been using different areas of our home. Our stairs and living room have come in handy. Using robes, ribbons, pegs, chairs, cushions, the sofa and other equipment have been great to use and to balance on.

Having the opportunity to be active as a family while in lockdown has been really important. I’ve most enjoyed being able to spend 1-1 time with Harrison but also playing together and having that quality time as a family. Gympanzees’ activity ideas definitely taken the pressure off thinking of new ideas to try at home.”

Harrison loves being active his brother, he tells us what he’s most enjoyed about his Gympanzees activities at home.

I’ve really enjoyed that my younger brother has been able to join in. I love playing toys with him too.

Jo tells us how the Gympanzees activities has been beneficial for Harrison.

“Gympanzees’ activities supports Harrison’s fine motor skills. Harrison doesn’t have a right arm so the exercises are great for improving his coordination and strength.

Activities like the floor is lava has been great for practicing his balance in a way he enjoys. We’ve also been playing word games whilst doing the spider web activity. This has been great as it has tied in with home schooling.

Watch Harrison taking part in a Gympanzee activity in his living room

“My advice to other families with disabled children on being active during this time is - carry on being active while still at home. I’d recommend trying any of the activities on Gympanzees’ website with your children. They will surprise you with their curiosity and their ways of doing the activity. It might not be 'as planned' but they will benefit from the experience of the new play.”

Visit the Gympanzees website to find out more about their services and the activities they provide.

Support on staying acive 

As the sport and activity sector make plans to open back up, there’s lots of ways to stay active at home. If you are not as active as you would like to be or you know someone who isn't we have complied a list to support you to be active at home. Visit our Get Active at Home page to find a list of exercise advice, workouts, videos and activity guides for disabled people.