Merton Council celebrated the latest new outdoor gym with a party at Figges Marsh. Merton’s Mayor, councillor Nick Draper officially opened the gym last week Wednesday 10 June in a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Residents were put through their paces by a personal fitness trainer whilst being assessed and advised on weight and nutrition matters to encourage residents to stay fit and healthy. This is one of two new gyms that the council has installed. The other is at Pollards Hill Recreation Ground and opened last month.
Through its outdoor gyms which are designed to suit young people and adults, the council wants to encourage Merton residents of all fitness levels to set foot outside, enjoy the fresh air and sun and get into shape. The council provided £48,000 of funding for the project after local consultation identified a need for more exercise opportunities in Figges Marsh.
The outdoor gym was the brainchild of the North Mitcham Parks Friends Group, which is made up of local residents and councillors. The friends canvassed local people to find out what facilities they wanted. Installing the gym was then put into practice by a partnership between North Mitcham Parks Friends Group and Merton Council.
Mayor of Merton, Councillor Nick Draper said: ‘This is great news for Merton residents, especially those local to Figges Marsh. The new outdoor gym will allow residents to now take advantage of the amazing new equipment to help them get fit and healthy in this great setting. It is a much welcomed improvement to the area. The launch day went very smoothly and special thanks must go to the children from Bond Primary School as the event would not have been the same without them.
‘This free outdoor gym will make exercise more accessible, allowing people of all ages to get involved, stay healthy and enjoy their summer.’
Ms Jo Brown of the North Mitcham Parks Friends group said: ‘We carried out extensive consultation with local residents on facilities in our parks and open spaces. Residents requested that exercise equipment should be supplied on Figges Marsh to complement the use of the Marsh for jogging and other sporting activities that already take place. In partnership with the council, we researched a range of equipment, and had examples of equipment available at their Community Fun Day for residents to try out. The gym has been in use for over a month now, and has been extremely well used by people of all ages who are delighted with the new facility. ‘
Merton Council cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: ‘We want to encourage residents to get active this summer. As summer approaches many of us have enthusiasm for going to the gym to shed a few pounds but with the costly price of gym membership these free outdoor gyms are great value for money. Residents can bask in the sunshine and get fit with friends and family.’
Notes to Editor.
The Great Outdoor Gym Company has passed the European safety standard for providing safe equipment, which is free of charge to members of the public. They have designed two ranges: the Street Gym targeted at young people and the Legacy Gym, which is for the young people, adults and grandparents. The outdoor gym provides people with a comparable workout to that of an indoor gym. The gym features a mix of toning, cardio and stretching apparatus, such as a cross trainer and chest and leg presses. Manufactured by The Great Outdoor Gym Company, the all weather and vandal proof gym also contains equipment suitable for wheelchair user. Both gyms will benefit from structured classes to ensure the gym is fully utilised.