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Con Smith Park Recreational Facility Outdoor Gym - Adults & Older People Conor Craven RAPID Coordinator Cavan County Council Taoiseachs Public Service.

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Presentation on theme: "Con Smith Park Recreational Facility Outdoor Gym - Adults & Older People Conor Craven RAPID Coordinator Cavan County Council Taoiseachs Public Service."— Presentation transcript:

1 Con Smith Park Recreational Facility Outdoor Gym - Adults & Older People Conor Craven RAPID Coordinator Cavan County Council Taoiseachs Public Service Excellence Awards July 2010


3 Background 2007- Local Authority had developed 22 childrens playgrounds. No playground for adults or older people. Clear gap in service provision. Playground for Pensioners Irish Times.

4 Background New Concept –Asia. Playgrounds for Older People Research indicated that Physical Activity Areas (outdoor gyms) not available in Ireland or UK. Initial focus on playground for Older People (Project Team). Could we develop an age friendly project? Ageing population in Ireland.

5 Why were these playgrounds developed? Europes older population set to increase significantly (21st Century) Now cities are trying to bring the principle of play back into the lives of the elderly. The combination of mental and physical activity can delay the onset of senile dementia. Times Online- May, 2007 Three generational play which found that older people recorded significant improvement in balance and coordination. Grandparents and children are encouraged to play together. University of Lappland, Finland. Concept developed by Playfit - China late 1990s adults and older people were using outdoor gym equipment in Public Parks. First playpark for Older People – Berlin (Playfit GmbH)

6 Project Objectives Develop an outdoor gym with high quality equipment – benchmark – Local Authorities Increase in participation in sport and physical exercise amongst adults & Older People To create a healthier community that results in improved quality of life and life expectancy for adults and older people in Cavan.

7 Key Challenges Cavan County Council had not developed a project of this type beforehand. Starting from scratch. No design layout or in house experience Reflect a significant shift in the local authoritys existing play policy.

8 Key Challenges New Concept – How to win support for the Idea? Research indicated no project of its kind and very difficult to design. Resistance to the project Public questioning – Who would use such equipment? it always rains in Ireland – need a canopy to keep you dry Cost effectiveness of the project Why would older people need a playground?

9 How we overcame the Challenges? Negotiated Co-funding from Department of Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs – Pilot project (RAPID Areas). Local Authority provide site / co-funding Feasibility Trip to Germany -viewed Adults & Older People using equipment enthusiastically and safely. Changed vision of project to be more inclusive and accessible. Focus on adults and older people.

10 How we overcame the Challenges? Positive response from Elected Members Project began to attract local media interest Integrate new outdoor gym within current play infrastructure – i.e. beside an existing childrens playground in a Public Park in Cavan Town. Redevelop existing 2km Sli na Slainte Walk.

11 Key Stakeholders RAPID AIT Department of Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs HSE Health Promotion DEPT Positive Age / ICA/ Tullacmongan Golden Oldies Cavan Sports Partnership Cavan Lions Club

12 Innovation through Participation The Older Womens Network is delighted to endorse this initiative which provides older people with an opportunity to exercise in a healthy and innovative way and which also has the added bonus of providing social interaction and an opportunity to provide friendship and support (Older Womens Network Ireland) Needs & views of Older Persons –participated in the planning process Consultation Process- Cavan Sport Partnership Strategic Plan

13 Innovation –delivering health benefits Each item of equipment is designed to improve the coordination, heart rate and posture of older people and adults. All muscles within the body can benefit due to the variety of available equipment. People can relax and exercise in the fresh air. It is easily accessible and has become a social outlet where families and neighbours utilise the equipment/

14 Innovation & Creativity Installation of 12 items of equipment – ensures that many people can use equipment at the same time; Equipment complies with the highest European safety standards Project is centrally located in a public park-within two minutes of Cavan Town- facilitates social inclusion dimension. E.g. people with disabilities;

15 Benefits of project Local Authority is providing a Public Good (outdoor gym) free of charge. Alternative to the Indoor gym (Fresh Air). Underpins innovation by Cavan County Council in the provision of public services Ensures that all age groups can benefit play and recreational facilities Facilitates social interaction and social inclusion.

16 Lessons Learned Project was achievable Project has potential to be adopted nationally Key Stakeholder input from initiation. Location of facility key to success (integrated) Facilitated intergenerational social and community interaction Everybody can play no matter what age All of us will age but how we age depends on the availability of high quality low cost play facilities

17 Future developments Project represents very good value for money; (improve physical wellbeing) A low cost facility which is best practice and demonstrates an example of a project that will have to be deployed in order to promote physical activity and reduce obesity.

18 For more information on this project Contact: Conor Craven, RAPID Coordinator, Community & Enterprise, Cavan County Council. Email: Phone: (049)4378584

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