City Unveils New Accessible Gym Equipment

By Lindsey Cole/The Oshawa Express

Greg Bamber slips his feet into the small machine that partly resembles a bicycle.

With some help, he straps them in so they are secure.

Sitting back in his wheelchair, he turns the Motomed Viva 2 exercise machine on.

Slowly his legs begin to move up and down as if he is riding a bike.

Bamber was elated to demonstrate how the Motomed Viva 2 works as he spearheaded the cause to get the piece of accessible equipment to the Legends Centre.

In 2009, Bamber, a fitness centre member, requested a Motomed Viva 2 to Oshawa Legends Centre staff. Together, the Canadian Paraplegic Association of Ontario, City staff and Bamber secured the equipment with the support of the Rick Hansen Institute’s Quality of Life Grant. Funding for the grant was made possible through Wheels in Motion events held in the community.

Recently, Oshawa MPP Jerry Ouellette, Mayor John Henry, Regional Councillor Bob Chapman and City staff were on hand to unveil the machine.

“Today we’re here for something that needs to be discussed,” says Mayor Henry, who says he has learned a lot about the importance of accessibility walking around on crutches after he tore his Achilles tendon.

“This was a very big eye opener for me.”

The Motomed Viva 2 is a multi-purpose piece of exercise equipment that caters to a wide range of people’s abilities and is designed so a person using a
wheelchair may pull up and secure themselves to its moving fitness components.

The peddles of the machine work like a bike, using a motor to move the person’s limbs around smoothly in a circle, working the leg muscles. An attachment is also available for a person’s arms with the same principle.

This machine is one of several pieces of exercise equipment at the Legends Centre that can be adapted to any ability.

“This community is light years ahead of other communities,” Mayor Henry says when it comes to accessibility features. “This will allow us to treat people

Stephanie Bolton, regional service coordinator with the Canadian Paraplegic Association of Ontario, says equipment like this shows how far accessibility
has come.

“We’ve come a long long way,” she says, adding there are 600 new spinal chord injuries a year in the province.

For Councillor Chapman, who is chair of the Community Services Committee, the new equipment is a symbol that Oshawa is committed to accessibility.

“Making Oshawa barrier-free is very important,” he says.

“Removing barriers and emphasizing abilities is important to everyone and this new gym equipment assists with that goal.”

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