New free outdoor gym launched in Magherafelt

Friday, 28 March 2014 – Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement
New free outdoor gym launched in Magherafelt

People in Magherafelt have a new way to get active as the Public Health Agency (PHA) and Magherafelt District Council have launched a new outdoor gym.

Council Chairperson Catherine Elatter officially opened the free facility, which is funded by the PHA, in Swatragh Park in Magherafelt this week.

The gym is made up of 14 pieces of cardiovascular and strength equipment which offer a variety of benefits to the user including improved balance and coordination, flexibility, strength and cardiovascular exercise.

The PHA’s Head of Health and Social Wellbeing in the Northern area, Madeline Heaney, said: “There is clear evidence showing that participation in physical activity, sport and exercise is great for both body and mind and also 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.”

Similar free facilities are also available in Newtownabbey Borough Council, Antrim Borough Council, Moyle District Council and Ballymena Borough Council. The PHA granted £15,000 funding to each of the five councils for the development of the outdoor gyms.

Catherine Elatter, Chairperson of Magherafelt District Council, said: “I am very pleased to be able to open this facility in Swatragh. It is a new venture for the Magherafelt District Council area and I'm sure that local people will enjoy using the new gym equipment and will benefit from doing so.

“I would like to thank the Public Health Agency for providing funding for this equipment and I look forward to seeing additional outdoor gyms being developed in the Magherafelt District Council area.”

Further funding has also been granted to develop seven more new outdoor gyms in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area. A second gym will be built in the Magherafelt District Council area, along with further projects in the Newtownabbey, Antrim, Moyle, Ballymena, Cookstown and Carrickfergus council areas.