IT may have happened to you. Walking your dog or taking a stroll in the park with a loved one and stumbling across what looks like a gym – a gym outside? Surely not. Don’t worry you’re not hallucinating. In fact, there’s a small revolution happening at the moment. More and more outdoor fitness gyms are popping up in parks, housing estates and schools across London and the UK.
Perhaps what’s most impressive about the scheme is the fact that the funding of 40 adiZones is the equivalent to the funding of one public swimming pool. Additionally, there are no maintenance costs for the first three years.
British manufacturers The Great Outdoor Gym Company (TGOGC) are behind a number of projects aiming to increase fitness and participation in the UK by designing good quality, outdoor gym equipment. And with the London 2012 Olympics moving ever closer, TGOGC has just received funding to push ahead a with more of the unique outdoor gyms called adiZones. This comes after Sport England recently invested £50 million into increasing mass participation in sport through a new Inspired Facilities fund.
Firstly, what is an adiZone? Well in simple terms it’s a series of multi-sport and fitness zones for formal and informal activities. In the shape of the London 2012 logo, the space accommodates activities such as basketball, football, tennis, climbing, taekwondo and judo. In working with schools and communities, TGOGC have so far implemented 50 of the adiZones across the UK with many more locations earmarked for the near future. Perhaps what’s most impressive about the scheme is the fact that the funding of 40 adiZones is the equivalent to the funding of one public swimming pool. Additionally, there are no maintenance costs for the first three years.
The project has already had a major impact in the way the public, local authorities and schools conduct their sporting initiatives. Schools in London have started using the zones for PE lessons, Primary Care Trusts use them for healthy living programmes for overweight, inactive and obese people and local councils link in adiZones with local and regional sports strategies as well as running a calendar of community events throughout the year. And perhaps more importantly, anyone from the general public who wants to go and use the facilities can do so with no charge and at their own leisure.
As well as the adiZones, TGOGC also have a huge number of TGO Zones scattered across the UK. This is a much simpler concept – with a particular space being used solely for gym equipment. You can find a TGO Zone near you here. Initial estimates say that over a million people have become more active as a result of the TGO and adiZones which surely illustrates the immense success of this inspiring project. So if you want to get fit but don’t like the secluded environment of an indoor gym, the TGO and adiZones are a great way of getting the best of both worlds.
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