Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Twice a week members of Prince George’s Community Resources log on to zoom to exercise together. On Tuesdays they take a Zumba class, and in Thursdays’ Pumps You Up Club they vote on whether to do cardio, balance, or boxing.
The classes, led by SPIRIT Club trainers, offer three variations of the exercises and can be done from home without any special exercise equipment.
A grant from Spirit Club Foundation supports these fitness programs, which are offered free of charge to participants.
While physical exercise is the primary goal with participants reporting they have lost or stabilized their weight and improved balance, the group has also used the sessions to stay connected to each other. Prior to the pandemic they met in person and developed friendships. Exercising together via zoom has been a way to maintain those relationships.
“As an autistic young adult, it is always difficult to find areas where J. can be successful socially,” one mom recently wrote in an email. “The SPIRIT program has made a tremendous impact on my son's social, emotional, and mental well-being.”
PGCR began in 2015 to support older teens and adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization helps connect members with existing services and activities, and offers programs, workshops, and social events of its own to help members become a more inclusive part of their community. Executive director Pam Rozanski says that without the grant the group would not likely have the funds needed to participate in the fitness programs.
Spirit Club Foundation will honor PGCR with the Outstanding Community Partner Award for its work to make fitness accessible for people with disabilities at its annual Fitness Festival on October 3. Though the Fitness Festival is free and open to the public preregistration is recommended.
Rep. Jamie Raskin will serve as master of ceremony for the 2:00 award presentation.