Clifton Moor Gym and York charity Raising for Rights to Celebrate Paralympics

Members of a York gym will be pumping iron and crunching abs to mark the start of the Paralympics and support disadvantaged people with disabilities across the globe.

Members of PureGym on Clifton Moor are taking up a series of Paralympic challenges next Saturday (17 September) to raise money for York’s international human rights charity, International Service.

International Service and PureGYm colleagues launching raise for rights campaignRaising for Rights: International Service Chief Executive Jo Baker launching the campign with PureGym's Personal Trainer Josh Farrow (sporting the dress) and the Clifton moor gym's centre manager Chris Bowles.

International Service works alongside people with disabilities across the globe to overcome discrimination and prejudice and take an active role in life.

The human rights charity works with local organisations to deliver local priorities, from training teachers to deliver inclusive sports sessions in schools in Burkina Faso to training Ghanaian basket-weavers with disabilities to turn their talent into an income.

The event is the brainchild of PureGym manager Chris Bowles and Personal Trainer Josh Farrow - who will be competing in the challenges dressed in a traditional west African dress - says:

“The Paralympics is a fantastic display of athleticism, and a reminder that sport is a way for everyone to build confidence, get active and fulfil their potential. The team at PureGym wanted to celebrate the spirit of the Paralympics, but we also wanted to link it to something bigger. Raising money for International Service was an obvious choice because they connect our city to people with disabilities’ fight for rights across the globe.”

The PureGym event is part of International Service’s ‘Raise for Rights’ campaign to support the charity’s work with disadvantaged communities across the globe.

Other events include the recent York 10k, and a team entering the York 10 mile run on October 11th. International Service has a proud association with the Paralympics.

The organisation was a key driver in the development of the Burkina Faso Paralympic team, with volunteer Liam Conlon – now an International Service Trustee – even providing accommodation for its athletes ahead of the London 2012 Paralympics.

Jo Baker, CEO of International Service says “The Paralympics have done so much to change public perceptions of people with disabilities, but there are still significant challenges facing people with disabilities across the world.

Often excluded from society, and with limited opportunities, people with disabilities face a much higher risk of poverty.”

“With the support Pure Gym and our other fantastic and committed supporters, we can continue to support the local organisations empowering people living with disabilities to be independent, access employment opportunities, and participate in cultural events.”

If you want to celebrate the Paralympics and join the raise for rights campaign, you can donate to the campaign (

If you want to organise your own challenge, get in touch with Carla Jardim at International Service on 01904 731140.