Council considers next pensioners’ playgroundBy Lewis Rudd
January 17, 2011
Another playground for people of all ages to enjoy could be popping up in Wokingham after town councillors were approached about the idea.
The amenities committee at Wokingham Town Council was last week asked to consider the possibility of purchasing fitness equipment for one of its parks.
The authority has received information from Fresh-Air Fitness, a company which designs and develops green gym equipment to be permanently installed and used outdoors.
Similar attractions – known as pensioners’ playgrounds – have been installed at parks in Winnersh and Woodley in recent years, and the idea of providing a third provision for the borough has not yet been ruled out.
Paul Smith, amenities officer at the council, explained how the committee agreed to pass the information on to the parks working party when it met on Tuesday, January 4.
He said: “Primarily the company provides gym equipment; rowing machines, bench presses – that sort of stuff. The idea is to provide equipment for those who are not so keen on spending a lifetime in the gym. Predominately the equipment is aimed at adults, but can be used by anyone.
“The company has done work in the borough, but not with the town council.
“Councillors appeared quite keen on some of the equipment, but have asked for the parks working party to take a look.”
Mr Smith went on to explain how money to pay for such equipment could be sourced from the lottery and other grants.
He said: “It is not easy to get such funding, it is not just the case of a phone call, you have to go through a whole process before any funding is approved.
“But it is something which could be looked at.”
An outdoor fitness gym was installed at Bearwood Recreation Ground in Mole Road, Winnersh, in August 2009.
The facility, according to Clive Hudson, who is clerk of Winnersh Parish Council, is proving a hit with villagers.
He said: “It is popular. Parents have a go when they bring along their children to the park as the equipment is right next to the children’s play area.
“We do get a regular stream of adults who come down and use the equipment for its proper purpose, and it is quite common to see people coming down first thing in the morning and doing a work-out before going to work.
“It has actually gone down very well and is proving to be very robust, the equipment is sturdy and very practical. The parish council is very pleased with it. It completes the full sequence of equipment at the park.”