Paralympic star Jawad launches disability fitness app

23 Jul 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

Rio 2016 silver medal-winning para-powerlifter Ali Jawad, has unveiled a new mobile app that aims to revolutionise accessibility to sport and fitness for people living with impairments.

The Tokyo 2020 medal-hope initially announced the Accessercise app late last year, which has now been launched, becoming the first app of its kind worldwide to fill what Jawad describes as a “gaping hole” in the disability fitness market.

Initially made available in the UK, the app will later be rolled out in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 

Launched just over a month before the start of the Paralympic Games in Japan, the app will provide a unique exercise library, specifically designed for each impairment, and a single hub for people living with impairments to explore and rate accessible sport and exercise facilities in their community. The app also aims to support local fitness services that promote their accessibility credentials.

“Up to 15% of the world’s population identify themselves as disabled, yet many face barriers when it comes to identifying accessible and welcoming places to exercise,” said Jawad.

“In a bid to change this, the UK continues to lead the world in making sport and exercise inclusive to everyone, no matter their level – however, it is not enough. For too long, people with impairments have not been given ample information, knowledge and access in this space.

“With the launch of Accessercise, we aim to revolutionise access to sports and fitness facilities via an inclusive, one-stop-shop for people with impairments that aims to connect them with the fitness community like never before and continue to grow the equality of exercise in the build up to this year’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and beyond. 

“We want to help transform the lives of people across all abilities and the only way to achieve that is to put them first, and where possible, work with local governments and fitness services to make information and access more widely available to people living with impairments and to bring about legislation that promotes and encourages greater accessibility to sport and exercise for the disabled community.”

According to disability sport charity Activity Alliance, just 40% of those with impairments say they have ample opportunity to be active, while 90% say they are underserved in the app market.

Meanwhile, 70% of disabled people are motivated to be more active, according to the charity, which recently urged the government to make disabled people a priority in the coronavirus recovery, pointing out the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on the health and fitness levels of those with disabilities

In addition to the library of exercise tips and advice for those with impairments, the Accessercise app also hosts a social hub for users to comment on and share workouts; a ‘Verified Gyms’ function that offers an up-to-date directory of exercise facilities rated accessible by the disabled community; and a calendar to schedule and plan workouts.