I've never done CrossFit: book a free trial

Association insieme-Geneva

Inclusion is a very important value for CrossFit GVA. Today, we're talking about an association we've been supporting for several years: insieme-Geneva, which is committed to helping people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Nora Nuber, the association's vacation coordinator and a member of the box for several years, answers our questions.

Who is insieme-Geneva?

Insieme-Genève is committed to helping people with intellectual disabilities and their families, and works to ensure that their rights to live as full members of society are respected.

The association has some 600 active members, parents and friends, as well as over 200 supporting members. Insieme-Geneva is a member of Insieme Suisse, a federation of more than 50 associations throughout Switzerland, and of FÉGAPH (Fédération genevoise des associations de personnes handicapées) and their families.

What is the association's mission?

Insieme-Geneva ensures that people with intellectual disabilities and their families can be informed, advised, supported, accompanied and defended to have access, like any citizen to : 

  • Education, instruction, training
  • A professional activity
  • Health
  • A recognized emotional and sexual life
  • City life
  • The habitat
  • Culture, leisure and sport

To carry out its mission, insieme-Geneva can count on subsidies from the Swiss Confederation, the canton and the communes. But the association must actively seek private funding every year to ensure that its mission and services are fully met.

What do you do every day to help people with disabilities?

The association offers a range of services and activities:

  • Organization of recreational weekends and vacation stays tailored to people's needs and desires.
  • Help (administrative procedures, etc.), advice, information and training for families and individuals concerned.
  • Defending the interests of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

The idea is to help a person or family at every stage of their life, whenever they need it. For example, it's still an obstacle course for families to get their children into the same activities as other children in their neighborhood (schools, leisure and sports activities, etc.).

Is sport part of it? What about CrossFit GVA?

Access to sports facilities for people with disabilities is very important to insieme, not least because sport can serve the dual purpose of maintaining good health and improving their social participation.

Last winter, we were honorary hosts of the Escalade race with another association. In the long term, we'd like to take more concrete action for inclusive sport, i.e. sport that brings together all people, whatever their particularities, to simply enjoy sport together. 

CrossFit GVA and insieme have been connected for a few years by several happy coincidences. It started in 2018 with a program promoting sport for adults with intellectual disabilities called Bouger Ensemble that I created as part of my doctoral thesis in collaboration with insieme. I also collaborated with a former CrossFit GVA member who was our sports coach, Sébastien Puiatti, and that's how Bouger Ensemble participants came to train at GVA, thanks to Sébastien's initiative and the support of Jonathan Ingram, who was delighted with this inclusive project within the box. 

One of Bouger Ensemble's participants, Sébastien Besse, still trains at CrossFit GVA today.

Afterwards, there was a Sweat for a Cause competition to raise funds for insieme. Bouger Ensemble participants were part of the teams. Box members Ewen Roth and Chris Candon also organized their own fund-raising events.

CrossFit is a very promising sport for inclusive sports, because the values of fairness and inclusion are at the heart of the CrossFit community. And also for a more pragmatic reason: exercises are easily adaptable (e.g. scaled versions), and WODs bring together members of all levels.

There are also other projects that have been created in collaboration with insieme. Chris Candon has started coaching two young women with intellectual disabilities at CrossFit GVA, and another 17-year-old who doesn't have an intellectual disability but who also has special needs because he's just been through a difficult period. They are accompanied by a student from the University of Geneva, Nicol, with whom I am carrying out scientific research on this project. I'd love these people to want to join the WODs after this private coaching session.

What are your greatest challenges?

That people with disabilities can finally be considered as full members of society, as people with the same value as others, and as people who can enrich the world as much as others (if not more!). Another major challenge is to move from a society where we still do things "for" them, to a world where we act "by and with" them.

How to support insieme-Geneva

With money (smile)! On a more serious note, our needs are growing all the time. In order to continue to act according to people's needs and not according to the financial means at our disposal, we need more and more funds. That's why fund-raising events like those organized by CrossFit GVA are so important to us. You can also help enormously by maintaining the positive attitude towards difference that I find so prevalent at CrossFit GVA. Don't hesitate to come and talk to me about it.

Sweat for a cause!

On Sunday June 4, CrossFit GVA 1227 will be holding a charity challenge to raise as much money as possible for insieme-Genève.

  • What: 1h max distance SkiErg & Rowing mixed teams of 4
  • Who: CrossFit GVA & association members 
  • When: Sunday, June 4 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Aperitif & Canadian buffet at the end of the challenge
  • Where: CrossFit GVA 1227, rue le Royer 25
  • How much: min. fee of CHF 15/person to participate

To register, please send an e-mail to elsa@crossfitgva.com with details of team members (surname/first name/email). If you don't have a team, don't worry, we'll find one for you.

Not sure if CrossFit is for you? Come and take a free trial class, discover our 2 gyms and ask us all your questions.

Visiting our region? Come and drop in at one of our two venues

CHF 30 / drop-in or CHF 40 with a box t-shirt