Tuesday, 22 May 2018

£36,000 outdoor gym plan

OUTDOOR gym equipment worth £36,000 could be set up on Woodcote village green.

OUTDOOR gym equipment worth £36,000 could be set up on Woodcote village green.

The parish council sub-committee, which manages the site off Reading Road, hopes to install up to three new workout areas as part of a wider refurbishment.

It has suggested more than half a dozen improvements but wants to hear residents’ opinions on each before proceeding.

The work could be paid for with money that developers have to provide when they build new houses in Woodcote.

The sub-committee has already secured funding through this scheme, called the community infrastructure levy, for the new football goal it recently added to the green. It has also received a grant towards an outdoor ping-pong table which will be built on a new paved area by the youth centre. The first batch of gym kit that could be installed is a £12,000 “full body multi-gym” comprising four exercise stations for arms and legs that adults and teenagers could use. It could go on a soft “safety surface” among the trees near the war memorial.

If this proved popular, the next additions could be a “cardio multi-gym” and “toning multi-gym” each with four stations to improve aerobic fitness and strength respectively. Again, each would cost about £12,000. The former could be installed to the south-west of the site near Whitehouse Road while the later could go by the picnic table on Folly Field.

Sam Peates, who chairs the sub-committee, said: “Public outdoor gym equipment can provide members of the community with free access to fitness equipment, removing barriers of cost and accessibility that may deter people from using an indoor gym.

“They have the benefit of being in the fresh air and the use of the equipment can be incorporated into activities such as a walk with a dog or taking children to the park. Outdoor fitness equipment would also provide villagers who do not wish to participate in organised sports with a chance to get fit and take some exercise.”

The sub-committee also wants to extend the basketball practice area on Folly Field into a full-sized 420 sq m court. This would be for adult matches only but children could use it for five-a-side football.

A tennis “practice wall” seven metres wide and four metres high could be built at the edge of this. It would be suitable for other racquet sports and would have a small climbing wall on the reverse. Two cricket practice nets for all ages, each three metres wide and 20m long, could also be erected on hard surfacing towards the green’s south-eastern corner.

Finally, a fence could be laid near the village hall to mark out a 100 sq m play area for the village pre-school while a second ping-pong table could be set up on Folly Field.

Mr Peates said: “We work with users such as the cricket and football clubs to ensure, within our budget, the best possible resources for users.

“However, visits to other villages in South Oxfordshire show that we could do more. We want to see if people agree that we should do more.

“We would like to proceed with as many of these ideas as possible but it’s subject to what residents think. It would be carried out over time as the money became available. This is not all going to happen at once.”

To comment on the proposals, contact Mr Peates at sampeates@ndo.co.uk

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