Paralympian opens Memorial gym

A new gym was officially opened at Memorial Hospital last week by triple paralympian Andy Barrow from New Eltham, who has represented Team GB in wheelchair rugby in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London last year.

Cutting the red ribbon to officially open the gym, Andy said: "It's hugely important to have the opportunity to exercise in all our lives." Andy was joined at the opening ceremony by another local, Olympic torch bearer Sarah Smit from Greenwich, who works with the Chain Reaction Theatre Company, which helps disadvantaged young people.

Andy first heard about wheelchair rugby when he was undergoing rehabilitation treatment following a rugby injury in 1997. After watching his first match he was determined to start playing himself.

Director of Forensic and Prison Services, John Enser, said: "I'd like to say a big thank you to Andy and Sarah for being here today and to all of those involved in what has been a three to four year programme to get this gym going."

The gym which is situated in the main hospital building boasts: a rowing machine; an exercise bike; a treadmill; a cross trainer; a weight bench, a selection of free weights, a punch bag and skipping ropes for boxing training.

Occupational Therapy Technical Instructor, Emma Gunnell, said that the gym allows an holistic approach to recovery focusing on the clients' physical health as well as their mental health. 

Published on 11th April 2013