Gym for kids? Creating the building blocks to bravery

 
 
 

A parent will do anything for their child. When Glenn Joselowitz’s daughter was born with a rare neuromuscular condition, he was determined to provide her with the best care. Emily has arthrogryposis, a disorder causing stiff, weak joints. As an avid athlete and former gymnastics coach, Joselowitz knew exercise could change a life. So he took his daughter with him to gym, slowly but surely helping her build her strength and flexibility. But it wasn’t the right place for someone her age, surrounded by adults and giant equipment. She needed a space where she could be a child. “The idea for a kids’ gym was born when I imagined running a mile in my daughter’s shoes,” Joselowitz says.

He created The Kids Gym for children to push their limits in a secure environment under the supervision of trainers. While exercising with Emily, Joselowitz watched her health improve and her happiness soar, and realised he could provide that opportunity to others. All children are welcome at his gym. For those with specific physical needs, specialised help is available. Every day, the training space in Cape Town is filled with kids bouncing on trampolines or flying across obstacles. Away from the distractions of technology, they can tackle activities while having fun and making friends. “It’s great to see children challenging themselves in a non-competitive environment,” Joselowitz says.

To ensure accessibility, Joselowitz directs an NGO that gives children from disadvantaged backgrounds access to the gym. Through Physical Literacy for Children, there are now 150 kids who attend sessions. “Exercise has the power to transform lives,” Joselowitz says. What began as a father’s effort to support his daughter has turned into an arena for kids to lead dynamic childhoods.