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Sunday Strong: Health and wellness for special athletes

Sunday Strong: Health and wellness for special athletes (WPEC)
Sunday Strong: Health and wellness for special athletes (WPEC)
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Sunday Strong is a program focused on helping special needs athletes better their health and wellness.

Laura Radocaj, the founder of Sunday Strong, she started this program with a CrossFit class at Vero Strength & Conditioning about 15 months ago. She was inspired after going to one of her sister's Special Olympics competitions.

"I was alarmed by the physical condition of the athletes," she said.

That's when she started Sunday Strong, a free class every Sunday.

The owner, Wendy Sharfranski, said they wanted to provide regular programming for these athletes. She explained how amazing it's been to see them grow.

"Athletes who didn’t know what a jog was are now running laps around the building," Radocaj said. "Most importantly, it's built their self-esteem."

So then she started contacting other gyms to see if they would offer a free class once a week for special needs athletes. Vero Beach Fitness, formally known as the Jungle Club, joined in with Zumba.

"Anything we can do to help people enjoy the movement and exercise and Zumba is Great. It's exercise without the thought," said Shanna Benson, the group fitness instructor at Vero Beach Fitness.

"I do it pretty fast. I keep up with Shanna. I'm blessed," said Amanda Krieger, one of the athletes.

Kriger was just one of about a dozen athletes who enjoy the class every week.

"CrossFit makes stronger muscles," she said. "I feel stronger and better. I just enjoy it."

Radocaj hopes every gym nationwide will offer a free class for special needs athletes.

Click here to learn more.

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