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In the third part of our Gymtopia series, Ray Algar reports on a Gymkit initiative to send refurbished equipment to rehabilitation centres in Laos, Southeast Asia.

Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordering Vietnam and Thailand, with an estimated population of 6.5 million. During the Vietnam War of 1955–1975, millions of cluster bombs were dropped on the country, many of which failed to detonate. Tens of thousands of people have been injured or killed as a result of unexploded bombs; most victims are children and men. (Source: COPE charity) Bomb survivors often lose limbs and must undergo many months of intensive rehabilitation – a vital part of the recovery process, supporting the great work undertaken by the surgical teams. However, rehabilitation centres in Laos often cannot afford treadmills or cycles, which are critical in helping people adjust to life with a prosthetic limb. Gymkit UK – which for 13 years has been in the business of refurbishing and re-selling pre-owned fitness equipment and giving it a second lease of life – collaborated with Medical Aid International (MAI) and the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE), donating desperately needed treadmills and exercise bikes.

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