Seniors park officially opens

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A SENIORS group in Mernda is calling on the City of Whittlesea to expand their seniors’ exercise park program through the region.

The calls come off the back of the City of Whittlesea’s announcement a seniors park was built in Thomastown – the first in the region.

Mernda Senior Citizens Club secretary Lorraine Smyth said establishing a network of senior friendly spaces through the region would improve the resident’s’ quality of life.

“A lot of people, especially in Mernda and even in Whittlesea, don’t have a lot of alternative options or room,” she said.

“A lot of people don’t want to, or can’t play sports like lawn bowls because of bad knees or hip replacements, but want a place to be able to walk around or socialise.

“I think getting more of these through the area would be good. It will help people stay healthy mind and body to live a good life.”

The park, a first of its kind in the City of Whittlesea, includes a balance beam, core twister, hip spring and more.

Mayor Kris Pavlidis said the area also included a shelter and seating making it a welcoming space for the whole family.

“While a relatively new concept for Australia, these parks are popular in Europe and the United States,” Cr Pavlidis said.

“We’re pleased to build our first in the City of Whittlesea.

“With the rapidly ageing population in the City of Whittlesea, it is important that there is outdoor leisure activity for the wellbeing of our senior citizens.”

The park has been made possible thanks to funding from Gandel Philanthropy as part of the ENJOY project.

The National Ageing Research Institute, in conjunction with council, will evaluate the effects of physical activity on mental and physical health of residents who use the equipment.

The project will recruit older residents to take part in the trial and an open day in August will offer further information about the trial and how to use the equipment.

To find out more and to register your interest contact the Positive Ageing Team on 9407 5913.