Service delivery: an outdoor gym for the community
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLogo branding (Press Release) – Monday, 28 October 2013– Johannesburg, South Africa
Outdoor fitness is one of the most exciting growth areas for the South Africa health and fitness Market. Now, in the 21st century, a new breed of modern fitness stations have local residents working out — often together, as they build community. These “outdoor gyms” offer quality, updated equipment that challenges people’s muscles and gets their hearts pumping. Working out on exercise equipment in the open air is a unique experience that in addition provides a way to stay fit, shapes a healthy community and helps to curb crime within the youth through sport. The equipment is designed for all fitness levels from beginners to advanced users as you apply your own body weight when exercising. It’s colorful and vibrant appearance is very inviting and not intimidating like indoor fitness equipment in a conventional gym.
CRYSTAL PARK GAUTENG – colorful and vibrant appearance
During a time of tight budgets across the country, these outdoor fitness zones offer a free alternative to gym memberships. Many of these park gyms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a bonus, people gain benefits from the fresh air and relaxation from spending time in a park.
Behind this growing trend, however, is a serious health problem: South Africans are suffering from their poor diet and exercise choices. National health director general Precious Matsoso has warned that the current rate of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart-related conditions and cancers pose a threat to the government’s planned National Health Insurance system. “I hope South Africa’s fight against these conditions will be fought with the same vigour and yield the same results as the fight against HIV has. If such diseases are not curbed, it could see the South African public health system put under a lot of strain in 10 years’ time,” Matsoso said.
Local governments are realizing that their communities are in serious need of exercise, and many believe that the answer to encouraging exercise lies in providing the means to get moving. To make it easier and more appealing for individuals to get fit, local municipalities park and recreation departments have invested in modern fitness stations to help get people moving — and prevent the health problems that are sure to develop if they don’t.
World Outdoor Fitness, a company that specialises in the design, production and installation of outdoor fitness equipment has helped municipalities, SRSA and local government to give service delivery to their communities.
In October 2011 World Outdoor Fitness finished installing the first outdoor gym in South Africa in OR Tambo Environmental & Narrative Centre for the Ekurhuleni municipality; the residents of the surrounding area are using the gym daily, from kids to the elderly. “We are so happy to see this change driving this community to lead a healthier lifestyle” says Sarit Qwabe the marketing director. “The outdoor gym is a very cost effective, Eco-friendly, doesn’t require electricity and there is ZERO maintenance once it is installed, so there isn’t extra cost after installation. It is also a green product and made from recycled materials”.
O R TAMBO OUTDOOR GYM
Since then hundreds of units of outdoor gym were installed around South Africa, helping mayors and municipalities contribute for their residents life quality.
The Minister of sport and recreation Fikile Mbalula along with the deputy Minister of sport and recreation Gert Oosterhuisen, MEC of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer and Councillor Alderman from the City of Cape Town Belinda Walker handed over an outdoor gym in Rocklands Mitchell’s Plain on the 22nd of may 2013. This inter-governmental project by local, provincial and national government got a warm reception at a public meeting.
“We as a City strive to create spaces where communities can pursue active and healthy lifestyles and enjoy the outdoors, as well as spaces where community life can be fostered. This outdoor gym equipment has transformed this piece of land into such a space. We look forward to the positive impact it will have on activity levels in this community, as well as the hours of enjoyment it will bring,” says Alderman Walker.
From the onset Mitchell’s plain resident were involved from the site preparation all the way to the installation of the equipment. This strategy helps us realise the following objective:
– Transfer the knowledge, skills and the importance of the outdoor gym in the community
– Community takes ownership of the project
– Team work and unity
– Temporary employment for the duration of the installation.
– Community becomes the guardian of the equipment.
Mitchell’s plain community came out in numbers from the beginning from young to mother and fathers;
pitched a tent and in conjunction with World Outdoor Fitness made the installation an event like a
Saturday family barbeque.