By Dedra Cordle
A new park amenity could help shape the future in Urbancrest.
At the October meeting, the village council approved an application for a grant that would bring an outdoor fitness court to Martin Luther King Park. According to the village administration, the project is estimated at $128,000 and requires a $30,000 local match.
Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. stated his belief that it would not be difficult to raise funds for the project.
“I have already spoken to a number of our business partners and they have all shown an interest in the project,” he said. “I don’t think there will be much of a problem gaining sponsors.”
The fitness court will have a dimension of 32 feet by 35 feet and will be located in the green space between the playground and the basketball court.
Barnes said he envisions parents or grandparents taking their children and grandchildren to the playground and then heading over to the fitness court to get their own exercise.
“I think this is going to be a great thing for the community,” he said. “I am really looking forward to seeing it here.”
The fitness court, which was created in 1979 by the National Fitness Campaign, features 30 pieces of equipment that allows the user to use their own body weight for resistance.
According to the National Fitness Campaign website, the court provides a “full-body workout for adults of all ability levels” and has seven functional fitness zones that can be used in “thousands” of ways.
Among the 30 pieces of equipment are plyometric/squat boxes, destabilized pushing handles, pushing ladders, rowing handles, bending stations and agility ladders and dots.
Barnes added that one of the best things about the court – besides residents getting exercise, that is – is that it can be utilized throughout the year.
“It was made for the outdoors so people don’t have an excuse not to use it.”
Another positive attribute of the court, said Barnes, is that it will be free for all to use.
“There are a lot of people who want to exercise but cannot afford to get a membership to the YMCA or another local gym,” he said. “This will allow them to use equipment (similar to those found in a fitness center) at no cost to them.”
Barnes said he expects the fitness court to be installed next spring.