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Former athlete opens free gym for people with disabilities and dementia

2 min read

Better Society

Meet former athlete Javeno Mclean from Manchester. During his own career as an athlete, Javeno had an epiphany. He wanted to help others to grow stronger, both physically and personally. He opened his own gym where he works with people with disabilities and dementia. Not for the money, but for the smiles.

Javeno trains people with different disadvantages, from cerebral palsy to dementia.

Real power house

Javeno Mclean is a former powerlifting champion from Manchester. As a youngster he set high eyes in his career. But it was then that Javeno felt that he wanted to create his own thing. He realized that he got more satisfaction from working with others, rather than working on himself. He opened his own gym and started to coach two disabled individuals. It was not necessarily his intention, but suddenly he had built up his community of locals living in disadvantage.

“It’s become a bit of a sanctuary for disabled and elderly and ill. They’re going through battles. The people that need to… smile the most. The last thing I need to do is take your money. I just want to make you smile. I want to put a smile on your face.” – Javeno Mclean

After a video of him and one of his clients went viral, Javeno received a lot of messages from people asking if their loved ones could come to train with him. At first he thought it was enough, but he started to see the power of it.

Javeno and one of his clients. He works with both disabled children and elderly people.

Currently, Javeno trains 15 disabled children and around 30 elderly to help them achieve something they never truly believed possible. His clients have different disadvantages, from dementia to physical disadvantages and from Parkinson’s disease to other mental disabilities.


You are not your wheelchair

Javeno does not care about how someone looks or acts because of their disability. Speaking with BrightVibes, he said:

“I don’t give a damn about your chair. It doesn’t define you. I care about you! I give a damn about the individual that I’m looking at.” – Javeno Mclean

His work inspires and moves people – not only in a literal way. That is what satisfies Javeno the most: people doing better. And he does it with passion… “it’s not a project, it’s my life, baby!”


World record breaker

Javeno even set a world record: most disabled people in a work out class Source: Javeno McLean


If this made you happy, then also check out this BrightVibes article about an England plumber who provided his services to disabled and elderly people for free.

Make an Impact

Here are 6 ways you can create a more inclusive society and workplace

On the streets, in the super market, anywhere you can come across people with a disability. One thing you should not do: treat them as their disability. As Javeno says: "someone is not their wheel chair." What you can do is: support them and create a more inclusive society with these 6 tips.

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