It’s the sports facility near our house in Scarborough where I workout indoors. The Village is a pretty neat and unique place. There’s a field house (a three-court gym with a 200m indoor track), two pools, weight room and cardio room with treadmills, elliptical machines and more.
But the facility and the equipment is just a small part of the story. What’s awesome about Variety Village is that it’s a facility designed for all abilities. It’s not uncommon to be working out next to someone recovering from a stroke or to be running on the track beside a person using a hand bike because they were born with cerebral palsy.
It’s inspiring because at the Village everyone is the same. We’re all just there to enjoy some physical activity. You can be challenged by the person next to you whether they are able-bodied, or whether they have to overcome some sort of physical or mental challenge.
But what I really like about the Village is that it teaches young people to accept and understand everyone.
I walked in behind a group of young teenaged boys going to shoot some basketball the other night. There was a small group of kids just inside the entrance with mental challenges that were vocalizing and moving around. The kids walked by and didn’t think anything of it. No teasing or crude comments. Not even a glance over.
Personally, being a Village member has taught me a few things about how to interact with those who might have mental or other challenges. Rather than feeling sorry or trying to avoid any contact, I’m much more comfortable interacting and helping when required.
I couldn’t imagine working out in a regular gym.