Adaptive Wellness Expert, Coach Andy

Fueled By Bravery Of His Athletes

What makes Lions United so unique? With all the other gym choices in the great Twin Cities area, what does Lions offer that the rest don’t?

The two key areas of difference between Lions United and the other local gyms are concept and passion.

Lions United is built on the concept of unification and inclusion. By providing the community with an ADA certified gym, Lions has created a space optimized for athletes with special needs. That space is then available to athletes both with and without special needs so that the two populations are brought together and can interact in a meaningful way through sports.

Lion’s second differentiating factor is its passion, and the heart of all Lion’s passion is found in Coach Andrew Cameron.

How Coach Andy got his Start

Coach Andy, as his athletes call him, has been a Special Olympics coach for over 15 years. He got his start interacting with the special needs community at a young age.

Andy’s cousin, Steven, has Down Syndrome. As a child, Andy watched his Dad work with Steven and other special needs athletes through the Special Olympics. Andy was inspired and started out participating in Special Olympics as a unified partner. He loved working with his teammates and wanted to do more, so he pursued and obtained his Special Olympics coaching certification in golf. Since then, Coach Andy has earned coaching certifications in 8 additional Special Olympics sports.

For Andy, its more then Training

Coach Andy’s favorite part about working with the Special Olympics has been the connection with the athletes. He describes the experience as totally different from coaching other sports. Coach Andy notes, “I feel a special connection when training Special Olympics athletes. Seeing them overcome their limitations is an amazing experience. It’s not just training, but also being a role model for them in all aspects of their life.”

Athletes who have been coached by Andy describe it as “an amazing experience.” Special Olympics gold medalist Mark Pfeiffer says of Coach Andy, “He always brings the sense of family to the workout and we just have a blast.”

While some coaches get burned out, Andy says what keeps him going is the knowledge that the special needs population is one of the most of overlooked communities. He knows that he can positively impact those lives.

Andy says, “I feel the impact when I help not only an athlete but help a family to see what is possible. For many of them, they lost hope of their child living a normal life, but when they see the progress and results of hard work – they are amazed, and it’s a great feeling.”

Can you imagine your child benefiting from the personal connection and individualized training that Coach Andy and his team of personal trainer have to offer? If so, we invite you to meet us so we can get to know each other and understand your child’s individual goals and challenges. Together we can develop a personal training program to help your child become his or her best self.