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Moray town celebrates opening of new outdoor gym


By Ewan Malcolm

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A NEW £72,000 outdoor gym has officially been opened in Forres.

The official opening of the community outdoor gym on Sanquhar Road. Picture: Beth Taylor
The official opening of the community outdoor gym on Sanquhar Road. Picture: Beth Taylor

The gym, developed by Forres Community Sports Hub and Forres Community Council, includes multi-station and multi-user pieces to offer a full body workout, plus seats and shelters.

It also includes an arm bike accessible from the seat or from a standing position as well as from a wheelchair.

Magnetic bells give users two weights at different strength levels, with exercise boards showing options from easy to hard and a free downloadable app will act like a virtual personal trainer, helping gym users to progress and get fitter.

The equipment will be inspected and routinely maintained by Moray Council with the community invited to help efforts to support this.

Forres Sports Hub has started a GoFundMe campaign and there could be further development of the outdoor gym through this fundraising.

Lord-Lieutenant of Moray, Major General Seymour Monro CBE LVO, did the honours by cutting the ribbon alongside recently-retired principal teacher of home economics at Forres Academy, Ann Rossiter,

Ms Rossiter spearheaded the facility’s fundraising campaign through her position as chair of Forres Community Sports Hub.

From left: Ann Rossiter, Councillor Kathleen Robertson and Lord-Lieutenant of Moray, Seymour Monro, at the official opening of the community outdoor gym. Picture: Beth Taylor
From left: Ann Rossiter, Councillor Kathleen Robertson and Lord-Lieutenant of Moray, Seymour Monro, at the official opening of the community outdoor gym. Picture: Beth Taylor

The Lord Lieutenant said: "This is a fantastic example of a successful partnership working, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing this excellent gym being used and enjoyed by people of all ages.

"This is a super asset for Forres residents and school pupils."

Ms Rossiter added: "“It has transformed the area and it will be a major community asset that local people can be proud of.

"I’m so pleased to see it open for everyone to enjoy.

"I commend all those involved in making it a reality, including our main funder, the Berry Burn Community Fund.

"The leader of Moray Council Kathleen Robertson also deserves a mention for helping me in her previous role as chair of Forres Community Council to get the scheme off the ground.

"And I’m really grateful to Moray Council for agreeing to oversee routine maintenance and inspections of the facility, which makes this a possibility for the community.”

The majority of the project’s £72,000 cost was met by the Berry Burn Community Fund, which committed £45,000.

Josh Angell (left) and Lewis Mackenzie at the gym opening. Picture: Beth Taylor
Josh Angell (left) and Lewis Mackenzie at the gym opening. Picture: Beth Taylor

A substantial donation of £12,000 came from the late Colin Lipscomb, £10,000 from the Moray Council Developers Fund, £1,000 from Arnold Clark Community Fund, and £4,000 was granted through Money for Moray.

Further monetary support was provided from Forres Sports Hub.

Moray Council Leader, Councillor Kathleen Robertson, said: “The facility will provide the locality with an important community space to socialise and exercise at the same time.

"It proves how working in partnership can deliver physical, economic and social renewal.

"I’m delighted to see it open. It will allow people to meet up with others and it will become a social activity that is easily accessible to all.”

Scott Fraser (Principal teacher of Health and well-being) alongside Ann Rossiter at the opening. Picture: Beth Taylor
Scott Fraser (Principal teacher of Health and well-being) alongside Ann Rossiter at the opening. Picture: Beth Taylor

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