The gym dedicated to children from the age of 18 months to 15 years old opens in Johannesburg.
The founder of the gym and Co-owner Glenn Joselowitz, who happens to be a Springbok gymnastics coach got this idea of instituting a gym dedicated to kids after realizing the essence of exercise and physical education apart from education.
Joselowitz while taking care of his daughter, who was borne with a rare neuromuscular condition that used to limit her mobility, he learned something amazing about the advantage of exercise. He used to take her daughter to a gym so that she can work on her mobility and body flexibility and after noticing a surge in her confidence and physical wellbeing, Joselowitz decided to go for a kids Gym.
Joselowitz said that the Cape-town branch has been operations for the last 18 months and we have seen a huge mass of children coming every month showing their sheer interest to join the workout.
Joselowitz further informed that according to a study by the World Health Organization, it is recommended for children to do exercise for at least 60 minutes a day.
He added more, “By playing alone, they are not developing their full body, for example, they lack in upper body strength and spatial awareness.”
The Kid’s Gym, he says, provides a fun, stimulating environment where they are working on strengthening their entire body through different programmes. Such kind of physical activities also helps in reducing obesity levels in children.
A study has found that South African children are getting obese quicker than children in the US. Conducted by scientists from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Wits University, as well as researchers from Denmark and England, the results show that “South Africa is undergoing rapid socioeconomic and demographic changes that have triggered a rapid nutrition transition”.
They found that between 2008-2015 obesity rates among local children doubled. In contrast, the obesity rate among American children doubled over 13 years – more than twice as slow as the South African rate.
Joselowitz says he did a tremendous amount of research to get the right gym equipment for children. “To find an offering that is equivalent to an adult quality machine is not easy,” he says. “I have connections overseas who looked at and tested machines.”
The Kids Gym in Johannesburg received over 200 applications from trainers, but 20 were selected. They all have sports backgrounds and experience in working with children and at least four staff members have first aid training. Joselowitz says he uses an external company to do the criminal and police vetting.
He also wants trainers to be good mentors because “we build up children from the inside out, and also take care of them emotionally”.
To enable greater access to the Kids Gym, Joselowitz’s non-profit organisation, Physical Literacy for Children (PLC) has 150 children in the programme. It is to “give needy children in society access to the same facilities and professionalism as that of a paying member”.