Hot off the heels of the Olympic Games, and with the Paralympic Games now underway, comes an opportunity for the residents of Lisburn to get fit for free in the heart of the community.
The Great Outdoor Gym Company Ireland Ltd (TGO Ireland), in partnership with Lisburn City Council, have launched their first outdoor gym in Wallace Park, offering people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to start exercising or enhance their current exercise plan.
The eight-piece gym provides a great work-out, surrounded by fresh air in beautiful parkland and doesn’t cost a penny.
Richard Stuart, Managing Director of TGO Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be launching of our new range of gym equipment in Wallace Park.
“TGO has been the pioneer of free to use outdoor gyms in the UK and across the world for over five years.
“We launched TGO Ireland in March of this year, and I have to say the response from local councils, housing associations and community groups interested in installing a gym in their area has been phenomenal.
“Never before has there been such a focus on health and well-being with the interest in outdoor exercise being at an all-time high."
Richard said the recent study by medical journal The Lancet claimed that sedentary lifestyles and a lack of physical exercise are responsible for 5.3 million deaths - just as many as smoking - throughout the world.
“TGO aims to tackle this head-on. All of the TGO equipment is designed and manufactured in the UK, complying with all key safety regulations, and are designed to give a mix of cardiovascular, strength and toning exercises.
“The gym is completely free to use and is suitable for all levels of users, from top sportsmen to beginners and will help some of the most inactive members of society increase their physical activity.
“The equipment is also perfect for people with disabilities and is why we have chosen Disability Sports NI as our chosen charity for the year.
“The charity work to give children and adults with disabilities the opportunity to lead a full and active life through sport and physical recreation.
“Our aim is to have at least one TGO gym in every city and town in Northern Ireland by 2020,” he added.
Chairman of Lisburn City Council’s Leisure Services Committee, Councillor Thomas Beckett ,said that the council was delighted to have facilitated the first gym of its kind in Northern Ireland.
“By making the land available in the recently refurbished Wallace Park we have added an extra dimension to the attractions on offer.
“The health benefits of exercise and the great outdoors are undisputed and today’s opening gives local people the opportunity to enhance their fitness programmes while enjoying the beautiful outdoor surroundings of Wallace Park," he added.
Northern Ireland Football and Ulster Rugby legends Glenn Ferguson and Bryn Cunningham were the first professional athletes to try the new facility, battling it out in a circuits challenge.
Speaking at the launch, Glenn said, “It is fantastic to see wonderful new facilities like this, open for all ages, and all fitness abilities.
“Anything which encourages fitness and exercise must be championed and supported at all levels.
“I have no doubt that this outdoor gym facility will be the first of many seen throughout the country.”
For more information visit www.tgoireland.com