Young at heart: Seniors to stay healthy with own playground

A NEW playground is causing a buzz in the community of Hoppers Crossing just outside Melbourne.

But it's not the children that are bubbling with excitement - this time it was reserved for the suburb's mature-aged residents.

Welcome to the 'Seniors' Exercise Park.

Wyndham City, in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), have brought to life a novel idea that entertains, socially engages and prompts the suburb's mature-aged residents to stay fit and active.

Featuring state of the art equipment, the space at the Central Park Community Centre is redefining the image of a playground.

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"As a progressive and family friendly city it's important that we cater for the needs of all types of families in Wyndham," Wyndham City's Family Friendly City Portfolio holder Mia Shaw said.

"It's even an opportunity for them to 'play' together with their grandkids."

“It will make me feel young again won’t it?” Shirley Hewitt said of the state of the art equipment.
“It will make me feel young again won’t it?” Shirley Hewitt said of the state of the art equipment. Wyndham City

Cr Shaw said the park is intended to improve fitness, balance and coordination.

"This exercise park aims to improve physical activity and social interaction for our more senior residents," she said.

"A series of instructional videos will be available online to show users how to use the equipment at the park."

The park, currently under trial, is being put through its paces by several residents with the majority giving it a big tick of approval.

"It's good," 91-year-old Shirley Hewitt told 7 News Melbourne. "It will make me feel young again won't it?"

And there's great hopes Shirley won't be the only one with a smile across her face after reaping the perks of the park.

"Once the Senior's exercise park is open to the public, research will be undertaken with a pilot group of users and will be tracked over a period of three years to understand the health benefits that are gained," Cr Shaw said.


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