Residents can take more than a walk in the park in a bid to get fighting fit – thanks to a major cash boost.
Community charity Groundwork UK has splashed out £10,000 to install an outdoor gym to boost a flourishing fitness zone at West Park, South Shields.
The fantastic five pieces of specialist steel workout kit include a ski stepper, pull down and power push – and will complement an adjacent trim trail put in place earlier this year.
The zone now offers the most comprehensive range of outdoor fitness gear in South Tyneside and builds on a partnership between South Tyneside Council and Groundwork that has already delivered a similar package in Jarrow’s West Park.
The equipment, which is designed for people aged over 14, is open access and offers those of almost all fitness levels the opportunity to exercise at any time of day free of charge and in the fresh air.
The project forms part of Groundwork’s X Marks the Spot initiative, which aims to reclaim urban green spaces.
This is a fantastic addition to what is now a wondeful outdoor health activity area.Rebecca Maw
It has been supported by the council’s Green Space Team and local ward councillors, as well as The Friends of West Park and Northumbria Police.
Rebecca Maw, community engagement officer with Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle, said: “This is a fantastic addition to what is now a wonderful overall outdoor health activity area.
“The zone is not meant to take the place of a gym but to offer an alternative for those who prefer to do their exercise in the open air.
“I hope that people for many years to come will benefit from the better health that this initiative can bring to their lives.”
Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “We are delighted with the new outdoor gym. It is a wonderful new fitness facility for people to enjoy working out in the open air.
“West Park is already very popular with the local community for its children’s play area, bandstand and green spaces, but this is an added benefit.
“The equipment is free and easy to use and offers people an innovative new way of improving their health and wellbeing at any time of the day.”
Coun Gladys Hobson, a member of The Friends of West Park South Shields, added: “Working in co-operation with Groundwork, we raised funds to install the Trim Trail and outdoor gym equipment for the benefit of the community.
“One of the aims of our organisation is to create activities in the park throughout the year and our next objective will be a Christmas event.”
The equipment is located near the tennis courts at the northern end of the park.
The trim trail was funded by South Tyneside Council’s Green Space Team, the council’s West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum, and Police Crime Commissioners Fund, secured by The Friends of West Park.