The Parksville Lions Club’s outdoor gym was officially opened with a ceremony in the Parksville Community Park Saturday.
The gym has several exercise stations surrounded by a non-slip, soft surface made from recycled tires.
Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney said it’s “a great addition to the community,” which he noted is one of the oldest in Canada, and “a great place for seniors.”
Nonetheless, he said, when he visited the gym the day before the official opening, it was being used by moms and kids.
During the ceremony the exercise stations were being heavily used by people of all ages, laughing and enjoying a great view of the beach.
Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell noted that the gym is accessible “so everyone’s going to benefit from it.”
“It’s a beautiful set of equipment,” she said, where people “can work every muscle in the body.”
Parksville Mayor Chris Burger said the project is an example of the different levels of government “coming together, working hard and getting the job done.”
The gym was a project of the Parksville Lions Club, led by Building Chair Duane Round and President Jim Hoffman.
Round jokingly told Stilwell, a world-class athlete, that she had inspired him to lead a healthier lifestyle, and then invited everyone to enjoy free hot dogs and drinks.
Contributions to the gym, which is officially called the Parksville Lions Outdoor Gym and Mobility Challenged Access Project, were also made by the Regional District of Nanaimo, the Oceanside Development & Construction Association, the Parksville Downtown Business Association, and Tire Stewardship BC.
A $30,000 matching grant from Tire Stewardship BC provided the rubber surface for the outdoor gym and also for sections of the adjacent Lions Ventureland playground.
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