EUGENE, Ore. -- A new athletic training program for those with specials needs is coming to Eugene in just a couple of months. Specialty Athletic Training has been helping those with special needs get in shape, and according to founder Ryan Lockard it's all about building confidence in and out of the gym. "Number one focus is always making it fun for them, and making it where they want to do it on a daily basis and make it a part of their own lives," he said. They've served nearly 500 clients since they first started back in 2012. They serve anyone with special needs such as those with autism, diabetes, Parkinson's, ADHD, and more.
Spencer Kankel, the co-owner of CrossFit Eviva, said he and other co-owner, Laticia Ficek, were looking for more ways to include more people in their business. "We were really excited about the opportunity to host them because one of the things that Laticia and I agreed on when we purchased the gym was that we wanted fitness to be accessible to everybody. And so we really wanted to create an environment that was super inclusive, and that would serve as many people in the community as possible," Kankel said. And so, a new partnership was formed.
Lockard has three other locations for Specialty Athletic Training in Bend, Portland and Vancouver, Washington. And in October 2022, CrossFit Eviva won't just be for people who want a hardcore workout, it'll also be a new home for Lockard's business.
Alisa Sinnott and her son Patrick have known Lockard for years. Patrick being one of Lockard's first clients, after they first met at the Lewis and Clark College in Portland. "When Ryan started that program, Patrick wanted to be a part of it, because Ryan is his buddy," Sinnott said. "I firmly believe that he's not just doing this because of a job or as a company, or to have a business, but he's in it because his heart is in it, and this is where his passion has led him."
Lockard, a native of Creswell, said it's all about coming closer together and building relationships with his clients. "The stories that really stick with you are the ones from outside of the gym, where clients can finally ride the bus by themselves or go on family walks with their dogs, and going on family hikes and things along those lines that they normally wouldn't do before," Lockard said.
About the Author
Ryan Lockard, CSCS*D, CSPS*D is the Founder and CEO of Specialty Athletic Training. He is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Certified Special Populations Specialist. Lockard is a member of the board of directors for the Autism Society of America and the advisory board for the NSCA Oregon chapter.