Doing sport differently: Aerobase
Award-winning Aerobase is an excellent example of a fun, flexible and accessible program that helps children with disabilities be more active, healthy and happy through aerobics.
- Make sport accessible anytime, anywhere
- Engage your audience and make it fun
- Offer a variety of ways to continue participation
- Expand delivery networks and make it easy to deliver
- Partner with other organisations to maximise benefits
What is Aerobase?
Developed by Gymnastics Victoria (GV) in 2017, Aerobase is a basic, but fun and exciting online aerobic gymnastics program for schools and groups. It aims to increase participation in gymnastics, reduce barriers to participation, and create enjoyable ways for students with disabilities to be active and improve their fundamental movement.
Aerobase features six free instructional videos, 10–15 minutes long each. No special training is needed to teach the program and it can operate anywhere, any time and with minimal equipment.
Currently, 81 specialist and mainstream schools use Aerobase, with 5841 registered participants and 1265 who regularly attend classes.
Schools can submit entries and participate in the Aerobase Online Grand Championships, or compete at the annual Aeroschools competition. GV has partnered with Special Olympics Victoria, so students can also participate in competitive gymnastics if they choose to.
What are Aerobase’s benefits?
Aerobase encourages children with disabilities, who may not normally be physically active, to move more. In doing so, it improves their general health and wellbeing, including cardiovascular fitness, self-confidence and coordination. It also gives them a fun and safe environment in which they can learn to move well and compete with peers.
Many schools and groups don’t have resources to run similar programs. However, Aerobase needs minimal equipment and no special training, so it offers them an easy and inexpensive way to meet children’s needs.
Why is Aerobase successful?
Aerobase overcomes many of the barriers to children with disabilities being active, including cost, specialised equipment/facilities, transport and permission for off-site activities, and sport not being inclusive or suitable for people with disabilities.
It’s fun and engaging. It uses easy, entertaining routines, with personalised music, to make movement enjoyable and appealing for participants and teachers.
It’s accessible and flexible. The program is free and available online. Movements are easy to teach, learn and do. Anyone can teach the program using the online resources, and it can be adapted to suit participants’ abilities. No special equipment is needed to run or participate in Aerobase – it can be done anywhere there is access to a screen, internet, sound and space to move, such as gyms, yards and classrooms, and at any time.
GV also leveraged a partnership with Special Olympics Victoria to develop and operate the project, to give more students opportunities to be active.