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Outdoor Otley gym opens its gates
Keep-fit enthusiasts in Otley can now enjoy a workout under the open sky.
An outdoor gym in Wharfemeadows Park, designed for adults and older children, was officially opened by town mayor Councillor Pam Gill on Tuesday.
Featuring a range of arm press, chest stretch, fixed pedal and step equipment, the gym is the brainchild of two local schoolboys, Max Houghton and George Thompson.
They proposed the idea, while pupils at Otley All Saints C of E Primary, under the council's 2012 Voice Your Choice scheme - and it proved a hit when it came to the public vote.
Max, now 11 and studying at Prince Henry's Grammar School, was at the opening to try out the different exercises and said he was “chuffed” to see his dream become a reality.
Chairman of the town council's community development committee, Councillor Austin Kelly (Lab, Ashfield), said: “I think this is a phenomenal community facility to put money into, and it's great because we can add to it.
“Even the idea of doing this didn't exist a year ago. We wanted to put something in place that involved the people whose money it is, the taxpayers, having a say in how it was being spent.
“Voice Your Choice was invented for that purpose, to give some of our community development budget to the community and hear what they wanted.
“There were lots of fantastic ideas and this one was the winner, the public decided it was a great idea.
“Five thousand pounds doesn't get very much but, thanks to the hard work of the council team, they managed to turn that into £10,000 with help in the form of a grant from Green Leeds.
“Then we got this all done in nine months.”
Executive officer Suzanne Kidger said running circuit markers were due to be installed in the area too, to help people run set distances around the park.
She said: “Outdoor gyms are a great way for everyone to be able to participate in exercise and reap the rewards of improved physical and mental health.
“The project also includes three runs of varying lengths around the park, and we hope joggers will incorporate the gym in their exercise regimes.”
The land for the gym was provided by Leeds City Council, while Green Leeds Ltd, which supports local environmental projects using the Landfill Communities Fund, doubled the scheme's funds by giving £5,000.
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