‘Everybody deserves a chance to move!' #ShowUsYouCanPlay
Kettlebells is a challenging sport that requires strength, endurance, cardio fitness, balance, coordination to complete the lift in 10-minutes. The perfect sport for Robert, who had contracted Meningococcal Septicaemia in 2003. His toes were amputated, the remainder of his feet and legs were reconstructed to save his life. This included extensive skin grafts and some of his right calf removed.
[Video ID: cover photo says 'Show Us You Can Play! Campaign Winner: Robert Wilson' with logos at the bottom including Victoria Together, Rellas Strength and Wellness Hub and Disability Sport & Recreation, on a teal background. The video features Robert and Cindy training with kettlebells and various exercise movements together at Rellas Strength and Wellness Hub. Robert has fair skin, light short hair and is wearing black activewear with the Rellas logo on his t-shirt and orange sweatbands on his wrists. Cindy has light skin, bright red medium length hair with a red ribbon tied and holding her fringe back, and is wearing black activewear with the Rellas logo on her t-shirt. Cindy has a tattoo sleeve down one of her arms.]
Robert Wilson got involved during 2019 with Rella’s Strength and Wellness Hub in Cheltenham when approved for NDIS, part of which was physio and strength training. There he met Cindy and a positive bond was formed through guidance, collaboration in building confidence and having fun together. All based around the philosophy that every 'body' deserves the chance to 'move'.
In 2020, Robert and Cindy were doing online training, “I joked around about doing Kettlebells and I started doing the actions for it, we both thought: 'let’s give it a go.”
“We started introducing kettlebell swinging to help balance; he then learned to lift and now enters competitions. He is our first-ever disabled athlete in Australia,” says Cindy from Rella’s
During COVID, Cindy and Rob were able to keep working together over Zoom, Kettlebells was a big part of that.
In the case of every person that Cindy works with, everybody deserves a chance to move, extended into that “every human body deserves a chance to move pain-free and free of dysfunction” and in the case with Robert “was amazed at how much Rob can do without toes.”
“I entered Rob into the 'Show Us You Can Play!' campaign so we could highlight how brilliant Kettlebells are for anybody with a disability.”
As a competition, Kettlebells is a strength, endurance and power endurance sport-based over as many reps as you can do in a time frame.
“Kettlebells has helped me a lot with strength, stability, balance and endurance,” states Robert with a newfound self-assurance.
“For me it’s important to be physically active for my own wellbeing and health, also for the voluntary work that I do for St Johns Ambulance” where he has been a volunteer for 41 years and is currently a state officer in charge of awards, doing lots of call-outs.
Robert went to the NSW bushfires in 2019/20, looking after firefighters and in Victoria at a relief centre looking after the locals where “it was just great for me to continue on doing that kind of stuff” as a volunteer in the community, helping others.
For competitions, Cindy worked on Rob's mobility to start with to prepare his body in being able to lift the Kettlebells first.
“It can be nerve-wracking being in a competition format. Competitions are purely about himself, even though he lifts in an open division. The only person he has to prove himself against is himself,” says Cindy.
Robert found that “being on the platform in competition nothing else really mattered because it showed me the way I can actually move the Kettlebell and compete.”
Anybody can do Kettlebells. It's a great way to give you that confidence and strength.
Show Us You Can Play!