Fairborn gets national grant for free outdoor exercise equipment

The city of Fairborn is among the first cities in Ohio to receive a grant from a San Fransisco-based company to install an outdoor fitness system that will be free to use for the public.

Dubbed the “Fitness Court,” the equipment is slated to be installed in Central Park this year after the city received $30,000 from the National Fitness Campaign, according to a release from the city.

The rest of the funding for the estimated $120,000 project is coming from community partnerships and capital funds in the parks department, according to Alicia Eckhart, director of Fairborn Parks and Recreation.

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Eckhart said the material for the court is due to be delivered this week, and installation of the concrete pad is expected to happen in April. She said the court will “provide accessibility and additional healthy options for our community.”

“We believe that we can create these opportunities, and people who choose to participate — (their) lives will be better,” Eckhart said. “We hope to grow this in to a local campaign.”

The court is an “innovative outdoor gym” made of dual-layered, powder-coated carbon steel with a shock-resistance sports floor, according to NFC Director Trent Matthias.

“It’s an outdoor bodyweight circuit training center designed for all ages and based around functional fitness,” Matthias said.

Avon, Ohio, has the only Fitness Court in the state, and it has been a success since its installation last year, Matthias said. Fairborn and Trotwood are among five Ohio municipalities that have been awarded funding, he said.

NFC is described as a “social enterprise” originally founded in 1979 in San Francisco. That campaign led to 10,000 courts being installed around the nation, Mattias said.

The campaign was relaunched in 2018, and this year the company already has partnerships in 200 locations, including 20 universities, around the country.

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“This is about changing the paradigm of healthcare and getting people healthy around the country. We want to change the trajectory of healthcare,” Matthias said.

The court comes with a free mobile app that users can download. The app provides workout routines, challenges and a locator map showing which cities have Fitness Courts.

Fairborn is planning a “launch party” with festivities on Saturday, June 8.


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