Making Strides - A Centre of Recovery
Originally interviewed for MOVE magazine in May, 2018
In March 2018, Sunday Night
aired a story on the amazing recovery journey of paralysed motocross rider, Andy Hensel. Hensel’s rehabilitation, like previous NRL player Alex McKinnon’s, was undertaken with the team at Making Strides
, a “centre of recovery” on the Gold Coast.
We spoke with Jack Jansson, Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Service Development Manager at Making Strides, in 2018 about the amazing work that’s going on inside the spinal cord injury recovery centre.
ESSA is re-featuring this interview for our 30th anniversary as Jack and the team at Making Strides showcase just how our accredited professionals are changing lives every day.
Making Strides feels like a big, supportive family. Tell us about the community you work with.
It’s pretty amazing the relationships we all form with our clients.
Majority of our sessions are two hours and many of our clients are aged 16-24, so we spend a lot of time with like-minded people of a similar age to us. You end up making a lot of really good friends when you invest as much time into someone else’s quality of life like this.
Everyone has a heavy story and behind each story is a family affected by a life changing injury. But the amazing part is witnessing the resilience of these guys and their families. It really puts the small inconveniences, those ‘first world problems’, into perspective.
Even after my studies, I was so ignorant and naïve to the universal effect that a spinal cord injury has on a person and their family. Most people think SCI, and think wheelchair and loss of ability to walk. But there are fathers in here who haven’t hugged their children and can’t feel their children’s hugs, couples who can’t dance together, kids who can’t play sports with their friends, 18-year-olds who can’t access the nightclubs their friends are at, and an entire population who have a really hard time managing their own health and wellbeing due to the unavailability of adaptive exercise programs.
There are up to 8 sessions running simultaneously here and a lot of the guys have met each other in the spinal wards or are separated by only 1 or 2 degrees. It’s a tight knit community and the clients get a lot out of the group atmosphere. There is such a strong sense of comradery here, it’s a really cool place to call work.