An initiative running in Coventry to encourage more people to get active in city parks and green spaces is expanding further into the city with phase two launched at Edgwick Park, Foleshill today.
The park today opened its outdoor gym facility which includes equipment that park visitors can use to keep fit and active and all for free.
Coventry on the Move in Parks aims to support local people of all ages and abilities to improve their levels of physical activity and have some fun.
The Council has been investing in new paths, activity routes and distance markers since March 2018 with launches of new paths at locations including Stoke Heath Sports Ground (Morris Common) and Caludon Castle Park.
So far, the Council has created physical activity routes and distance markers with new signage in 44 of parks and open spaces throughout the city.
Phase two aims to create more opportunities for people to take part in physical activity for free without forking out for gym membership.
A brand-new path has been installed in Edgwick Park, along with new outdoor gym equipment, while similar equipment is being put in place at Morris Common, Caludon Park and Quinton Park.
Further new notice boards, activity routes and distance markers have been installed across the city at sites including Longford Park, Gainford Rise, Willenhall Wood, Quinton Park and Dorchester Way.
Noticeboards will display a map of the routes together with details of other activities that are going on in parks in Coventry.
Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport, Cllr Kamran Caan, said: "Coventry on the Move in Parks has been an exciting initiative for our city. It has allowed a free way for the community to get fit, improve their physical health, and maintain good mental wellbeing.
“It represents an investment in our city, encouraging and supporting families and children to take steps to live healthier more active lives.
“Phase two now allows us to continue making greater use of the vast green space we have in the city with extra distance markers and noticeboards, encouraging everyone from the committed runners, light joggers and casual walkers.
“The installation of outdoor gym equipment provides free and accessible means of support for people to take up physical activity outdoors.
“My personal saying is ‘Changing people's lives for the rest of their lives’ and it would be fantastic if we could motivate even more people to get outdoors regularly, maintain a healthier lifestyle and meet new people".
Director for Public Health and Wellbeing, Liz Gaulton, said: “We are delighted to launch phase two of Coventry on the Move in Parks and celebrate continued support for communities and neighbourhoods to be active, healthy and have fun.
“We know being more physically active is a great step towards a healthier, happier life and I’d encourage everyone to make a commitment to being more active as part of our Year of Wellbeing. Our parks activity routes and outdoor gyms are a great opportunity to get started – anyone can enjoy the routes so give them a try!”
The launch took place on opening day two of Sport in the Park with more than a dozen organisations attending including: Sky Blues in the Community, Foleshill Baptist Church, Positive Youth Foundation, Think Active, YMCA, Helping Hearts, Heart of England Community Foundation, West Midlands Fire Service, and The Real Junkfood Project.
Be Active Be Healthy, put on a warm up and a series of stretch exercises for children, families and community members before walking the ‘pedometer path’ in Edgwick Park to count steps and try out the new development. Caloo, the contractor who carried out work on the outdoor gym equipment, also gave demonstrations of the new facilities and inductions on how to use the kit properly.
Parks Development Manager for Streetscene and Greenspace in Coventry, Michelle Tyrtania said: "We are really pleased to have launched the second phase of this development in Coventry. Since phase one, more than 18 months ago, there has been a marked increase in those in the community using our parks and green spaces and we are looking forward to seeing communities take up more activities.
"Public Health and the Parks team at the Council have been working together to support people to get the best out of the greenspace and parks in their local areas."