GameTime Fitness Park in Tampa, Florida Serves Adults of All Ages and Abilities
GameTime is pleased to announce the opening of a new GTfit Fitness Park at Northdale Recreation Center in Tampa, Florida. The park was designed by GameTime and the Hillsborough County Park and Recreation Department to address the specific health and wellness needs of the adults in the community, specifically adults over the age of 50. According to 2010 U.S. Census data, nearly 50% of the population of Hillsborough County is over the age of 50, and the fastest growing segment of the population is between the ages of 55 and 64.
Hillsborough County officials wanted to create a fitness park that was durable, simple to use and easily integrated into their established wellness programming for older adults at the recreation center. They also wanted a fitness area that served a population of the community that wasn’t using indoor fitness centers.
“The people who use this fitness park don’t feel comfortable in a gym or can’t afford a membership,” says Adrienne Rouse, Recreation Program Supervisor for Hillsborough County. “Some of the adults in our community prefer exercising outdoors or want to be near their children or grandchildren while they play on the adjacent playground. We are meeting a different kind of need.”
This is the first such fitness park in Hillsborough County. When selecting a location for the park, officials decided on Northdale Recreation Center because of its established club of older adults. The club, called O.W.L.S. (Older Wiser Lively Seniors), has more than 1,100 members, and was the perfect audience for a pilot program.
Dominica Recreation Products is GameTime’s exclusive representative in Hillsborough County and understands the need to create outdoor fitness spaces. ”With a professional degree in fitness and sixteen years in the commercial fitness equipment and health club industry, I know how an indoor fitness center can be intimidating, uncomfortable, and inconvenient for many people,” said Rob Wilson, Sales and Marketing Manager for Dominica. “In the case of Northdale Recreation Center, we brought fitness to the O.W.L.S and, in doing so, we removed those barriers with equipment that is challenging, yet welcoming for their age group."
To help educate the community on how to use the fitness equipment, and to ensure users are getting the maximum benefit, there are classes held each week by certified personal trainer, Joe Monroe. “We show the O.W.L.S. how to use the fitness equipment to maintain balance and flexibility, and to improve muscle strength,” said Mr. Monroe. “Several of the pieces, like the Chest Press and Lat Pull Down are also accessible, so that adults of all abilities can use them. All of the equipment is ideal for therapeutic use and the classes are very popular.”
The fitness park has been named a National Demonstration Site for Outdoor Fitness Parks by PlayCore, a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company that helps build stronger communities around the world by advancing play and fitness through research, programs, and partnerships. PlayCore names National Demonstration Sites based on a stringent set of criteria that ensures a community thoughtfully plans a fitness park to meet the needs of their residents, demonstrates a plan to publicize the availability and benefits of the park and regularly measures its effectiveness and impact on the community. PlayCore’s database of National Demonstration Sites for Outdoor Fitness can be viewed at www.playcore.com/fitness. Visitors to the site can submit their own fitness parks or learn how to establish an outdoor fitness park in their community.
GameTime is a leading manufacturer of commercial playgrounds, custom play spaces and outdoor fitness equipment. Headquartered in Fort Payne, Alabama, and with distribution around the world, GameTime has been dedicated to enriching childhood through play since our founding in 1929. Our products combine play research with thoughtful design to create playgrounds for children of all abilities. We bring together the right corporate, civic and nonprofit partners to build healthy, active communities that make the world a better place for children and families.
Director of Marketing Communications, GameTime