The FIT Project

  • Project value$240,000
  • Completion Date31 March 2021

Through the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative, Council was awarded $240,000 to deliver programs and facilities that support people of all ages and abilities to use existing outdoor exercise equipment and open spaces—the Free Inclusive Training Project (FIT).

The FIT project included funding to:

  • make small changes to the outdoor exercise stations (and adjacent public open space) in Gisborne, Romsey and Woodend that make these facilities more inclusive and accessible and more active
  • provide free, inclusive programs that increase the confidence and skills to use the exercise stations, including through peer support and professional facilitation
  • develop signage, resources and promotional material to raise awareness about the outdoor exercise equipment and supportive programs.

Background

The 2019 Healthy Heart of Victoria Active Living Census found that 1 in 2 Macedon Ranges Shire residents (52.7 per cent) say they do not exercise as often as they would like. Importantly, 81 per cent of those with poor mental health, 79 per cent of those with poor health, 71 per cent of LGBTQIA people, and 49 per cent of people who require assistance with daily activities would like to be more active.

Although a lack of time is the most common reason for not being more active among adults, this is not true for all community members. Compared to community members with better health and wellbeing, people with poor mental or physical health were significantly more likely to say that their poor health, disability, the high cost or a lack of social support were important reasons for not being more active. Providing access to free equipment, exercise guidance and peer support will help to overcome these barriers.

The FIT project aimed to increase use of outdoor exercise stations and public open space in Kyneton, Gisborne, Romsey and Woodend through:

  • building awareness about the equipment
  • building skills and confidence to use the equipment
  • building social connections through supported group exercise
  • providing supportive amenities that address known barriers to physical activity and improve the user-experience.

Works and upgrades

To date we have audited and upgraded the outdoor exercise equipment sites in Gisborne, Romsey, Woodend and Kyneton (Kyneton site was upgraded as part of the WalKyneton project).

In Gisborne, we have delivered connecting paths, accessible seating, timed solar lighting, a water station and bike rack.

In Woodend, we have delivered an accessible carpark and connecting paths, accessible seating, a water station and bike rack.

In Romsey, we have delivered connecting paths, accessible seating, a water station, bike rack, and way-finding signage.

Outdoor exercise stations

There are four outdoor exercise stations located in Gisborne, Romsey, Woodend and Kyneton. The outdoor exercise stations have been designed for people of all ages and abilities.

Free inclusive training classes

Council held free inclusive training programs at the four outdoor exercise stations located in Gisborne, Romsey, Woodend and Kyneton during March 2021.

The free classes catered for all levels and abilities and included sessions for young females, seniors, and people wanting to improve mental health by increasing physical fitness. This video describes the experiences of four participants.