Leederville local smashing goals out of the park

Loftus Recreation Centre head personal trainer Clint Vargas and client Tom Rimmer. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d492868
Loftus Recreation Centre head personal trainer Clint Vargas and client Tom Rimmer. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d492868

A LOT has happened in a year for Tom Rimmer.

Since starting personal training at Loftus Recreation Centre, the Leederville local has started to play elite cricket at a state level, taken home his club’s best and fairest award, and dropped more than 10kg.

The 26-year-old has Down syndrome and is encouraging everyone to jump in the gym and give it a go.

“I reckon for their benefit, they should come and see what they think about having personal training,” he said.

Trainer Clint Vargas has worked with David Wirrpanda, Michael Hussey and Verity Simmons and said he had a unique bond with Mr Rimmer.

“Tom has trained with me for about a year – when he first came to me, he was pretty unfit, he was going through some struggles and bits and pieces like that,” he said.

“The change is massive – he’s got confidence, the ability to go out there and smile and joke.”

Loftus Recreation Centre head personal trainer Clint Vargas and client Tom Rimmer. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d492868Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d492868

Loftus Programs and Inclusion coordinator Jess Godwin said the centre had always run inclusive programs but just over a year ago launched a national inclusion team across all of their associated centres.

“A lot of people with disabilities walk through the door and ask if they can join in things – we’re not in a position to tell someone what they can and can’t do, everyone gets such a shock when we ask what they’d like to do,” she said.

“Even if it’s something as little as having a casual shoot around on the court, you’d be surprised at how many people think they don’t have the right to do that. There’s no reason why you can’t go down and have some fun.”

Ms Godwin said the centre had responded to what its local community wanted and needed, including hosting high-intensity Powerchair Football.

Mr Vargas said he was proud of how proactive the centre had been.

“Community centres should make people feel like they’re at home, they’re amongst family,” Mr Vargas said.

Mr Rimmer said the next challenge for him was continuing to get healthier and fitter – and knocking it out of the park with his cricket team.

“I love playing cricket and being out there having fun,” he said.

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