Outdoor gym to get Leigh Park residents fitter

KEEPING FIT Trish Harris tries out the new Leigh Park outdoor gym
KEEPING FIT Trish Harris tries out the new Leigh Park outdoor gym

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THERE’S no excuse to be a couch potato now an outdoor gym has opened in Leigh Park.

The gym, which cost more than £30,000 and can be used by anyone, is ready for action after being built at St Clare’s Park in Warren Park – and already people of all ages and fitness levels are working up a sweat.

More than 60 children from Warren Park Primary School were among the first to try the facility, led by fitness instructor Clare Miller.

Contemporary performers from Southsea-based dance group jAM jAR showed some alternative and creative ways of using the outdoor gym, especially the step-up blocks, running track and moon walk apparatus.

The scheme is a joint initiative between Havant Borough Council and Hampshire County Council to increase physical activity levels and support a healthier lifestyle.

The gym equipment includes two space walkers, two skiers, triple pull-ups, a pull down exerciser, leg press, chest press and a body twister.

There are also rectangular concrete structures which can be used as step–up boxes.

The Warren Park gym comes on the back of the success of the council-run outdoor gym at Eastoke, Hayling Island, where people are known to queue up to use the equipment.

Liz Fairhurst, a county councillor for Leigh Park, added: ‘The facility is well placed in Leigh Park giving local people the opportunity to use it whenever they want.

‘The health benefits of regular physical activity are key to a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing.’

The gym will be open 365 days a year and Cllr Fairhurst said it can fit into hectic lifestyles – and no gym subscription is needed.

She added: ‘Our commitments to work and family life do not allow us to fit exercise in at a set time.

‘This outdoor gym facility gives everyone the freedom to do exercise at a time to suit themselves.’

Havant Borough Council provided just under £9,000, taken from developer cash, while Hampshire Action Team – a fund run by county councillors – provided around £23,000 for the gym.