Access is the key to inclusive fitness trails

Community members are encouraged to come along and learn how to use the great equipment at the launch of the new inclusive fitness trail at Ham Common, Clarendon on Thursday, 24 March 2016 from 11am to 1pm.

Council has installed an extra eight exercise stations that are wheelchair accessible, along the existing trail that was created in 2010, providing additional amenities for all users of the reserve, especially those with physical support needs.

The equipment was installed by Hawkesbury City Council thanks to funding from the ‘Creating Liveable Communities Competition’ – a NSW Government scheme. The project aims to make outdoor recreation accessible to all of the community.

Free fitness instructors will be onsite at the launch, to show the community how to use the equipment and make the most of this new recreational facility for those with physical support needs. There will also be a free sausage sizzle for those who participate in the event.

Council hopes the new accessible fitness equipment on the trail will be popular with disability service workers and carers.

“This project has created an inclusive fitness trail within one of our Council’s most utilised and visible recreational spaces, Ham Common,” Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Kim Ford.

“Council has an Access and Inclusion Committee, an advisory committee comprised of health professionals, disability service workers, carers and people with a disability.

“One mandate of the Committee is to develop and implement actions that address needs as identified in the Access and Inclusion Plan,” he added.

“It’s for this reason that the Committee has scoped a number of projects to improve access to existing facilities and provide equal opportunities for participation in recreation across the region.”

The project aims to create an environment which supports active aging activity and encourages inclusive recreation. In turn, it aims to contribute to a healthy community by providing the necessary physical infrastructure.

Ham Common is a linear reserve opposite the Richmond RAAF Base which links Richmond to Windsor. It includes over two kilometres of pathway that is used by residents for personal fitness and recreation including walking, jogging and cycling.

In addition to the installation of the fitness trail, funding will be allocated to source clinical support from Occupational Therapists who will develop user guides for all equipment. Exercise physiologists will be engaged to facilitate group exercise sessions to assist people with high physical supports needs to guide users through safe use of the equipment. This additional support aims to increase an individual’s and their carer’s confidence and ability, with the ultimate aim being for community members to use the fitness trail as independently as possible.