The preliminary work has begun on the new Fitness Court©, a type of outdoor gym, in Victory Park, though the erratic weather has caused major delays. The court, which is being built on one of the existing tennis courts, is expected to be completed in May.
The fitness court will be an open-air, open-concept gym featuring 10-12 stations where a wide variety of exercises can be performed. Each station will feature a QR code that will allow users to access the recommended exercises using their cell phones.
“You can go up to it with your phone and scan the QR code on the wall, and it can tell you, ‘Station One, these are the various exercises you can do, Station Two, these are other exercises you can do,’ so it’s built-in for everybody,” said Mike Aguilar, Assistant Director of Minden Parks and Recreation. “It’s even handicapped accessible. Anyone can work out. It’s an open concept, so you can just come and go.”
A therapy team from Minden Medical Center, as well as staff from the REC, will be getting “ambassador certified” to be able to offer instruction on using the new fitness court.
“Our plan is, once a month or every other month, to have a day when we’ll have Fitness Day. I’ve been talking to Minden Medical, and the obesity rate in Minden is so high. So we’re trying to get people active and into the parks. Victory Park is one of our most popular parks, and it’s centrally located in the city, so that’s why we picked that park.”
There will also be two pickleball (a modified form of tennis) courts created in Victory Park using an existing tennis court as its base. Due to the size of the slab, these courts will be set up length-wise instead of side-by-side.
“We thought we could cut the tennis court in half and have them side-by-side, but we’re going to have to go to length because you have to have 44 feet, and it’s only 40 feet,” said Aguilar. “So, while the adults are playing pickleball or working out, the kids can play in the park.”
It was hoped that the existing slabs would be suitable to build directly on, but a 40 by 40-foot section had to be repaired and reinforced in preparation for the installation. For the installation to work properly, they will need at least 24 hours guaranteed to be above 50°, hence the delay.
This fitness court will provide great opportunities to people who want to work out. And it has been paid for almost entirely with grants.
“Rocke [Musgraves, the former director of the REC] started this. The National Fitness Campaign…we got a $30,000 grant from them. CenterPoint Energy gave us a $25,000 grant for the installation. And Senator Mills’ office gave us a $100,000 grant. McInnis Construction also contributed. Everybody has their part. So the city is only out $12,000ish. ”
These are going to be wonderful additions to Victory Park which should encourage more fun and fitness. The upcoming upgrades to other local parks will be featured in a future article in the Minden Press-Herald.