KettleBells

Bringing the World Together through Kettlebells

KettleBall
Handmade Kettleball. Trent Murgatroyd/IKFF Africa

With the spread of globalization, our world is getting smaller. More and more, we are able to reach out across nations and cultures to share ideas, insights, technologies, methods and experiences. No longer limited to just our own local customs, we are now able to benefit from the strengths and experiences of each other irrespective of the location. 

In the world of fitness, kettlebell training is playing a major role in the sharing of information which helps people become stronger, more fit, more functional and better prepared to deal with the rigors of life.

However, while not expensive in comparison to fancy exercise machines, there is a cost involved with acquiring kettlebells and sometimes the cost is a limiting factor which may prevent people in less economically developed areas from thus far gaining the benefits that kettlebell training provides. Economies of scale are always a factor in product-based markets and access is limited. 

Thankfully, due to the insight, creativity and hard work of Trent Murgatroyd from IKFF Africa  in Johannesburg, South Africa, George Djiamphy Yiawo of the Active Lifestyle & Wellness Association in Ghana and Ahana Raymond, a MMA athlete from Nigeria, young athletes in remote areas of Africa are getting the chance to learn kettlebell training and develop their mental and physical skills. 

Djiamphy was a key organizer in the 2014 presentation for ALWAG, and runs many wellness programs for youth in Ghana. He had the idea of introducing kettlebell training to the fitness community there and contacted Trent to invite him to present kettlebells at the ALWAG conference.

Although very interested in this opportunity, there was a practical challenge to overcome. There were no kettlebells in Ghana, and one cannot easily teach or even talk about kettlebells without the necessary equipment on hand. Not to mention, the costs involved to ship a hundred or so kettlebells from South Africa to Ghana would be astronomical, and the working budget simply was not available to make it happen.

 

Again there were no kettlebells in Ghana and no quick solution to get them there. But Ghana is a sport-loving nation and while they had no kettlebells yet, they had thousands of soccer balls and netballs (a sport similar to basketball). So Murgatroyd put his thinking cap on and his training as an engineer to good work to develop together with Djiamphy and Raymond an affordable, close approximation of the kettlebell, called the kettlebell.

The thought occurred to Trent to take some measurements. It turns out that a soccer ball, and even more so a netball, comes very close in size to the standard kettlebell. Soccer balls and netballs are cheap and plentiful in Ghana and many other African nations. What if old soccer and net balls could somehow be fastened with a secure handle? Worth a try! 

After a few trial runs, the Kettlebell was developed. What initially seemed like a hopeless venture turned into a creative and practical way of getting the necessary “kettlebells” in place in time for the wellness conference.

 

As you can imagine, the Kettlebell presentation was a big hit and soon thereafter, Djiamphy was able to produce dozens of kettlebells for the local youth to exercise with. A wonderful added value of this initiative is that it has also created some local jobs for "manufacturers" and trainers to teach the kettlebells. These affordable kettlebells are also now being provided to some in the low economic KZN community in South Africa.

This creative and community-minded interim method was a genius way of getting kettlebells to anyone and everyone. It is part of the "share the love" attitude that is near and dear to our hearts.

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