Fitness Program For Special Needs Adults Created

Aired on ABC Action News October 9, 2018

Specially Fit is featured on ABC at its new home, Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center.

Trainer Marky Oliver Helps People With Down Syndrome And Autism Get The Fitness Training They Need

Posted: 3:08 AM, Oct 09, 2018 Updated: 6:24 AM, Oct 09, 2018

By: Sean Daly; Reporter for ABC Action News

BRANDON, Fla. — Trainer Marky Oliver ’s mission to help people with special needs get fit started small.

Just a few friends weight-training for the Special Olympics.

“Oh, my life has changed completely,” says Oliver.

In April, ABC Action News aired a story how the 25-year-old USF’s grad story created a weightlifting program for children with autism. In the six months since, Marky now heads a region-wide fitness program for hundreds of people with Down syndrome and autism.

Athletes ready to compete in Specially Fit Games

TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) – This weekend in Seminole, a hundred special needs athletes will be competing in one of the first-ever events of its kind.

It’s called the Specially Fit Games. The athletes will compete in a powerlifting competition and other functional workouts.

There are $5,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs for the athletes, who have been competing for months to prepare.

“The reason we’re doing this event is because we wanted these athletes to feel like a true professional athlete. A lot of time when they compete they only get ribbon, a medal or a high five and we wanted to change that,” said the CEO of the Specially Fit Foundation, Mark Oliver.

The Specially Fit Games kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday at Valor Fitness, located at 10351 72nd Street North. The event is free to attend and the public is encouraged to come out and cheer on the athletes.

Former USF Football Player Starts Weightlifting Program For Kids With Special Needs

Posted: 3:28 AM, Apr 30, 2018 Updated: 2018-04-30 06:37:34-04

By: Sean Daly; Reporter for ABC Action News

TAMPA, Fla. — Marky Oliver is a former USF football player and currently works as a personal trainer at CrossFit Sabal Park in Tampa.

A few months ago Oliver was working with a client when he noticed a young man watching them.

His name was Andrew, an all-smiles kid with Down Syndrome. Andrew was with Oliver’s client, who ran a group home for people with special needs.

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He takes his workout routine to special education facilities and foster homes across Tampa Bay. LYF Inc. in Land O’ Lakes is just one of the special education schools that Marky visits. Jim Cracchio oversees the students at LYF Inc. and says Marky has made a world of a difference in their lives.

ABC Action News – Specially Fit

In April, ABC Action News aired a story how the 25-year-old USF’s grad story created a weightlifting program for children with autism . In the six months since, Marky now heads a region-wide fitness program for hundreds of people with Down syndrome and autism.

First ABC News segment -Specially Fit

A few months ago Oliver was working with a client when he noticed a young man watching them.

His name was Andrew, an all-smiles kid with Down Syndrome. Andrew was with Oliver’s client, who ran a group home for people with special needs.“Why isn’t he working out with us?” the 26-year-old Marky asked.

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Ben Greer set his sights on becoming a powerlifter and has worked toward his goal every day since.

“Ben has [Down syndrome] but that doesn’t hold him down. He can do anything he wants,” said his dad, Mark Greer.

Ben has been lifting weights for about a year, building his body and inspiring others along the way.