TEXARKANA – A new local fitness program aims to serve people with disabilities.

Chase Livingston and Whitni Allen are Certified Personal Trainers in Nutrition, Behaviour, Special Needs, and Adaptive Training. Recently, the two launched All Abilities, Fitness For All, a program for people with physical or mental disabilities.

“Exercise is important for everyone’s health and well-being. Traditional gyms generally do not offer personal trainers or fitness classes that can meet the needs of people with physical or mental disabilities,” said said Livingston.

All Abilities offers adaptive and inclusive fitness training that accommodates a variety of disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and stroke recovery.

“Workouts for each athlete will be tailored to individual needs, but the goals are the same for everyone,” Allen said. “The goal is to build confidence, independence and socialization in an accessible and safe environment.”

All abilities focus on exercises to help with real-life functions, such as climbing stairs or carrying heavy objects, as well as other daily living skills. Classes are free and open to anyone interested, regardless of age.

“We had a very successful first class for 14 athletes at Texarkana Resources on August 30,” Allen said.

Jennifer Lewis, CEO of Texarkana Resources, reached out to Allen to launch an all-inclusive, adaptive fitness program for people with special needs.

“Jennifer’s passion for helping people with special needs is contagious,” Allen said. “She sparked something in me that I didn’t even know was there and that spark blossomed into a burning passion for me.”

Allen approached Livingston about the class, and the two worked to bring the idea to life.

“It’s quickly becoming a growing vision that we hope will turn into a movement,” Livingston said.

Livingston said their philosophy boils down to treating the athletes they serve as they would any other customer, “with care, affection and specialized attention.”

Currently, Allen and Livingston rely on word of mouth about the program.

“We also rely on social media, sharing videos and communicating with our audience to raise awareness,” Livingston said.

All Abilities does not have a permanent location, so Livingston and Allen offer their services to the client.

“Our goal is to offer one-to-one individual training and group training,” Allen said.

Still, Livngston said their eyes were on the future.

“When the time comes, we hope to have our own facility to organize courses, training and other services,” he said.

The two plan to have classes once a week, in a bid to expand the schedule.

Noticing that there was a void for services like the ones they offer, Allen and Livingston are confident they are on the right track with All Abilities.

“I believe everyone should have a safe environment to have fun and achieve success with a fitness program,” Allen said.