Two brothers create athletic facility in Ferndale for those with special needs

Year-round fitness classes for people with special needs are often hard to find, and can be very expensive. Now, two metro Detroit brothers are working to change that. 

They've started a new athletic training facility in Ferndale to ensure no one is left out when it comes to physical fitness. They call it Team Guts. 

Team Guts offers Zumba, martial arts, yoga, boxercise, one-on-one training and sports camps for kids and adults with special needs.

"Really, it's about building from the ground up, your core," says co-owner Paul Turner. "A strong core equals a better quality of life for the general population or specials needs kids and adults." 

"You don't want to say forgotten, but they are forgotten," says Todd Turner. "It's the kids without special needs we focus on and these kids need physical activity." 

While the special needs community has physical, speech and occupational therapy options, fitness options are virtually nonexistent - and the ones that do exist are often too expensive for the average family.

"There's a lot of families out there that cannot afford these programs," says Paul. "My brother has dealt with it with his daughter, and he's one of those families." Todd's daughter, Amarisa, has Down syndrome and autism.

The Turner brothers don't want money to stand in the way of something they say every person with special needs should be able to take advantage of. 

"It definitely improves their overall health. Children like Amarisa have low muscle tone," says Todd. "So as they get older and get sedentary, that's how these kids and adults become obese." 

"If we can get them at a young age they'll stay with it which not only helps them physically develop but cognitively develop," says Paul.

Right now, Team Guts is in the running for a $10,000 grant from Kind Snacks through their kind causes initiative. They say the money would go a long way in helping them provide the best instructors possible for their special needs clients.

You can help Team Guts by voting for them in the competition. Click here for the link to vote. 

The Turners held a soft opening for their new training facility in May. Their grand opening is slated for August 30.

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