The City of Whittlesea’s custom-built seniors exercise park on Barry Road in Thomastown has been hailed for its innovation and inclusivity at Parks & Leisure Australia’s recent Victorian Awards for Excellence.
Winning the Research Award for the ENJOY Project, a partnership between the National Ageing Research Institute, City of Whittlesea and Wyndham City Council, marks a triumph for older adults seeking age-friendly outdoor spaces to exercise and socialise.
The ENJOY Project encourages older residents to be physically active by creating accessible spaces with specialised outdoor exercise and agility equipment.
The seniors exercise park in Thomastown includes a balance beam, core twister and hip spring; and is designed to improve the physical health of seniors as well as provide intergenerational play opportunities with the adjacent junior playground.
After only 12 weeks of using the seniors exercise park, participants experienced a reduced fear of falls and feelings of loneliness and improved physical function and wellbeing.
City of Whittlesea Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said the seniors exercise park in Thomastown highlighted Council’s commitment to ensuring that all residents have access to age-appropriate outdoor spaces.
“With over 30,000 residents aged over 60 living in the City of Whittlesea, Council is focused on creating liveable neighbourhoods for people of all ages and abilities,” Ms Wilson said.
“Council is excited to deliver innovative parks and open spaces that support our residents to age well and boost their health and wellbeing.”
The ENJOY Project, supported by Gandel Philanthropy, will now progress to Parks & Leisure Australia’s National Awards of Excellence in September.