The first all inclusive gym in Kitchener-Waterloo

Photo by Qiao Liu

The Active Souls Project is the first all-inclusive gym in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Located at 987 Guelph St., the Active Souls Project is a gym that is unlike anything else you have seen.

The facility specializes in supporting everyone through both groupwork and through one-on-one training.

“We’re completely integrated. We have people here with different abilities. People with exceptional needs, athletes, day-to-day people, even newborns,” Founder and coach, Sascha King said.

“We work children all the way up to seniors. We have a head coach in every class and then we have assistant coaches along with volunteers who have fitness backgrounds. So everyone is fully supported, no matter what your needs are. That’s what separates us from the crowd.”

The Active Souls Project is more than just a gym; it’s a place where you can go to feel better and a place where you can feel like you belong.

The project started off as a mobile venture and only focused on individuals with exceptional needs. Over time, it gained enough steam to become a full-fledged athletic facility that welcomed everyone.

King stated that a key objective of the gym is to make sure that everyone is comfortable. There are no judgments, no matter what type of condition you are in or where you are from.

“I started off only working with people who had exceptional needs and providing them mainstream support. We introduced equipment. We supported group homes, we traveled all over the Waterloo region and we still do those things,” she said.

“I opened the gym this past June and that’s where the next step came in: integration. We’re not government funded, we don’t have sponsorships. We just believe that everyone belongs. It’s our job to make sure no one gets left behind.”

The Active Souls Project also features a number of different classes for athletes who play different sports, along with yoga classes for people of all ages.

The yoga classes include lead instructors as well as support instructors who deal with people on an individual basis.

There is a large focus on mental fitness as well, not something you would expect to see at a regular gym.

It would be hard to find another organization that is this committed to achieving their objective.

“We’re not just coaches, we’re building a relationship with you. We are giving you a place to go to be safe and for you to be you. We’ve had a lot of people who are dealing with anxiety and depression,” King said.

“We have also had teenagers after going through rehabilitation for suicide come to us. The idea is to teach self-love, self-care and independence.”

The Active Souls Project is more than just a gym; it’s a place where you can go to feel better and a place where you can feel like you belong.


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