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Outdoor Gym opens in Galliagh

30 April 2015

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Elisha McCallion will officiate at the opening of the city’s first Green Outdoor Gym in Leafair Park today, Thursday, 30 April 2015.

The new outdoor facility, located in the Galliagh area of the city, has been made possible thanks to over £70,000 funding from the Department of Social Development, Derry City Council and the Public Health Agency.

The facility will be programmed by the Leafair Community Association who will also be responsible for running a series of events and activities to encourage the local community to use the top of the range equipment and facilities.

Mayor Cllr McCallion speaking at the opening said the Outdoor Gym was a fantastic project for the Council. “This is a pilot scheme for the Derry area while a number of similar projects already up and running in the Strabane District and we are hopeful that we can extend the programme across other neighbourhood renewal areas in the Council area.

“In line with Council’s Parks Development programme the provision of an outdoor gym will have a real and positive impact on the local community in Galliagh, not only providing them with state of the art cardiovascular specialised outdoor equipment but the opportunity to build a healthy lifestyle through a range of positive activities. What I particularly like about this scheme is the fact that its free to use and the scheduled activities are aimed at all ends of the ability spectrum making fitness and exercise accessible to all. I am absolutely delighted to attend the opening and to be part of what is a fantastic facility for the Galliagh area,” she said.

Minister for Social Development Mervyn Storey MLA said: “I have no doubt that the facilities on offer here will prove to be a major asset to the local area and the wider region. This project is a great example of partnership working between my Department, Council and the Public Health Agency in regenerating a green space environment to allow people of all ages and abilities access to gym equipment in an alternative environment. The project will physically and symbolically build cohesion within the community and help to create new opportunities for social integration and exchange through physical exercise.”

Colette Brolly, the Public Health Agency’s lead on physical activity, said: “The outdoor gym is a great way to get active.  It’s free, easy to use and easily accessible on the doorstep of local communities. Participation in physical activity, sport and exercise is great for both body and mind. It helps maintain a healthy weight and protect against heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes. Physical activity also helps with our sleep patterns and can improve our mental health by reducing stress.”

Peter McDonald, Co-ordinator of the Leafair Community Association welcomed the new outdoor green gym saying this is another great facility for the people of the Greater Shantallow Area and beyond.  “We look forward to the roll out of an extensive programme of activity within the green gym which will cater for everyone, young and old.  We would like to thank all who contributed in any way to establish this community facility.”

Further press information can be obtained by contacting Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Marketing and Communications Section, Tel. 028 7137 6504.