High School Hosts One of Many New Outdoor Fitness Courts in Massachusetts

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Officials in Gardner, Mass., have opened to the public a new state-of-the-art fitness facility at Gardner High School.

As reported by The Gardner News, the free gym was opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 7.

“We have made a lot of investments lately to increase our recreational opportunities in Gardner,” mayor Michael Nicholson said, as reported by the News. “This new fitness court will help our schools’ physical education classes expand their offerings and also bring a new option for the public at large to use and increase their fitness opportunities.”

According to a release posted on the city's website, the Fitness Court was developed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the City of Gardner, and the National Fitness Campaign to expand free access to high-quality workouts and create equitable access to exercise for communities around the state. The Fitness Court features seven exercise stations that allow people to use their own body weight to get a complete workout.

Created for people aged 14 and older and designed to accommodate all ability levels, the court lets participants advance through workouts at their own pace. Users also may download the free Fitness Court App, which acts as a coach-in-your-pocket and enhances the outdoor gym into a digitally supported wellness experience. 

“Blue Cross is committed to helping people live healthy lives and eliminating the physical and social barriers that lead to health disparities,” said Jeff Bellows, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “We’re proud to partner with NFC and the city to launch a Fitness Court that will provide Gardner residents a communal gathering space and access to premiere free outdoor fitness opportunities.”

Gardner is one of 15 outdoor Fitness Courts in a series of Blue Cross Fitness Courts that will be constructed in easily accessible public spaces throughout 2022-23.

Gardner High School athletic director and boys head soccer coach Dan Forte said the installation would be a benefit for both students and residents, as reported by the News.

“We’re really excited about this from a physical education standpoint; it offers our gym teachers, our health teachers, and pretty much everyone in the building the opportunity to find different ways to engage actively,” Forte said, adding that the facility would also benefit the city’s summer fitness programs. “We run a summer camp through the city on the school campus with anywhere from between 300 and 400 kids between the ages of kindergarten and eighth grade. So, from both the school side and the city side, we’re really excited about the opportunities this creates for us.”

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