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Outdoor gyms aim to help borough lose its obesity tag

By Tamworth Herald  |  Posted: August 15, 2011

Evie-Mai Rollins tries out the new outdoor gym equipment at Wigginton Park.   (PB13424-6160TH)

Evie-Mai Rollins tries out the new outdoor gym equipment at Wigginton Park. (PB13424-6160TH)

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TWO new outdoor gyms have opened in Tamworth in a bid to tackle the borough's rising obesity problem.

Following the news that Tamworth has the country's highest level of obesity, it is hoped the two free gyms at Dosthill and Wigginton parks will encourage more people to exercise.

The gyms, which cost a total of £14,000 to install, follow in the success of the outdoor gym in the Castle Grounds, which has been open for a year and attracts about 400 users per week.

Each one has four pieces of state-of-the art equipment – a chest press and lateral pull-down, a cross trainer and a bike – all specially designed for the outdoors.

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Councillor Jeremy Oates, Tamworth Mayor, was one of the first to try out the new equipment installed in Dosthill Park.

He said: "Just a few weeks ago, the Herald was reporting on figures which said Tamworth has the highest number of obese people in the country.

"The opening of the two new outdoor gyms will give even more people the opportunity to take exercise, completely free of charge, which will help them to live longer and healthier lives."

Councillor Steve Claymore, cabinet member for economic development and enterprise, said helping people to keep healthy was a top priority.

He said: "Public health is vitally important to Tamworth Borough Council, so much so that we have made it one of our top priorities.

"With the outdoor gym in the Castle Grounds attracting 400 users every week, we want to ensure that people in other parts of the borough are also able to take advantage of these outdoor gym facilities."

The gyms have been funded by the Tamworth Strategic Partnership, which is made up of the council, health organisations, housing associations and other partners.

The equipment is free to use.

However, anyone using the outdoor gyms should be aged at least 12.

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