image2 25.07.2019

Inclusive crossfit in Lida: new opportunities for people with disabilities

An inclusive barrier-free gym opened in Lida Integrated Children and Youth Sports School No. 4; the initiative is implemented with the financial support from the European Union.


Special exercise machines and equipment enable persons with traumas or inborn disabilities to engage in physical rehabilitation compensating for the inactivity of their paralysed body parts. The modified exercise equipment is designed for circuit training of persons with varying degrees of traumas and injuries, and it allows developing individual training programmes.


The inclusive gym has a team of coaches who understand the special aspects of physical development of disabled persons, their needs and preferences. The unique CrossFit program enables the gym visitors to select exercises taking into account their various individual aspects.


Today we can congratulate Lida with an excellent example of efficient cooperation between local authorities and civil society, — noted Berend de Groot, Head of Cooperation ofthe European Union Delegration in Belarus, — This success is important not for a signle city only, it is important for the entire Belarus. Such projects are the ones that determine the direction, in which the society needs to develop.

About 100 regular inclusive group classes have been held so far for ten participants including six persons with disabilities. More than 30 swimming classes have been held for 18 persons including six persons with disabilities. The class participants acquire the skills necessary for their subsequent individual CrossFit training.

The Inclusive CrossFit initiative provides for energetic awareness-raising activities. There are plans for a number of field training workshops on “Inclusive CrossFit as an Efficient Method to Prevent Non-Communicable Diseases”. The first event was held on 17 July in Smarhoń. 17 participants including 11 disabled persons learned about health maintenance methods developed within the initiative implementation and took part in hands-on inclusive CrossFit classes.

Inclusive CrossFit initiative is implemented under BELMED project, which is funded by the European Union and co-implemented by UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO in partnership with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus. The initiative was proposed and implemented by Lida Transdistrict Organisation of the Republican Association of Wheelchair Users, that was the winner of the 3rd Be Healthy contest of initiatives aimed promoting the healthy lifestyle and preventing non-communicable diseases on local levels. The contest was held in 2018 by the United Nations Development Programme under BELMED project in Hrodna and Minsk Regions.

The main goal of BELMED project is to expedite efficient prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and reinforce the national healthcare system for efficiently addressing the NCD problems in the Republic of Belarus. The project also contributes to the improvement of the efficiency of public programmes and efforts of the government and local authorities to lower the NCD burden both on the national and regional levels, while raising public awareness about the development and promotion of local health-improvement initiatives.

Ideas about healthy lifestyles have been gaining relevance in Belarus in the recent years, particularly in view of the fact that approximately 90% of all deaths in Belarus are NCD-related.