Minister for Sport Michael Ring visited Doorly Park to officially open Sligo Borough Council’s new state-of-the-art fitness trail. The Minister was accompanied by Deputy Mayor Councillor Matt Lyons, Deputy Tony McLoughlin, Senator Michael Comiskey, Members of Sligo Borough Council, Director of Services Paula Gallagher and staff of the Borough Council’s Parks Section.
The 2011 Sports Capital allocation of €140,000 from the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport enabled Sligo Borough Council’s Parks Department to provide this state of the art Fitness Trail at Doorly Park. This Fitness Trail is now freely available to all users for both active and passive recreational pursuits and significantly enhances the recreational offering in the eastern quadrant of Sligo City. The project encourages an active healthy lifestyle and supports the focus on ‘more people, more active, more often’, a strategic objective of Sligo Local Authorities and Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership.
Doorly Park Outdoor Fitness Trail consists of 10 scientifically designed exercise stations / activity points dispersed along the 2km outdoor trail. The trail also includes a number of additional destination fitness zones incorporating clusters of exercise equipment. The various units are suitable for use for different user groups or needs including users from 12 years of age upwards, older adults and people with disabilities. The fitness zones and activity points included within the design incorporate such items as cross trainer, dip bars, leg press, air walker, waist twister, sit up board, rowing machine, elliptical trainer, stand and sit rotator, flex wheel spinners, pull down challenger, parallel bars, balance beams, push up bars, upper body trainer, power bike, etc. Use of the fitness trail system will develop cardio vascular conditioning, muscle tone and flexibility resulting in the overall improvement and maintenance of user’s fitness levels. Each station is equipped with a detailed exercise instruction sign designed to accommodate all levels of fitness.
Within the overall layout design of the equipment are unique ‘Life Trail’ units which are a new product to Ireland, bringing older adults in contact with nature while improving wellness. The Life Trail units are based on functional fitness and are specifically designed to maintain and improve the health of people over 50 years of age. Regular use will increase strength and dynamic balance. Current studies underway in Europe illustrates that the use of flexibility and mobility type equipment over a period by senior citizens and by persons who generally do very little or nothing in terms of exercising will then encourage such users to do more in this respect and hopefully go on to more strenuous types of equipment or, more importantly, to take part in and make use of locally available sports facilities in general or to join sports clubs etc. By developing a broad range of outdoor facilities Sligo Borough Council are serving both of these types of users and are making a real impact in helping people of all ages and abilities to become active.
The entire area along the Garvogue River which incorporates within it Sligo’s Smarter Travel Trail, is being progressively transformed and developed as the green lung of Sligo linking the inner urban areas of the city to the recreational and tourism amenity of the eastern quadrant of Sligo by off road cycle-way and pedestrian linkages. The completed Doorly Park outdoor fitness trail provides extensive outdoor exercise facilities strategically integrated to allow safe and accessible use. All the facilities are located in a scenic pristine riverside and parkland location featuring extensive tourism and leisure attractions. The development ensures that national and international tourists, the local community and the broader Sligo community have access to safe and sustainable outdoor fitness facilities. The fitness facilities at Doorly Park link and complement a range of existing recreational and tourism amenities at Doorly Park and provide extensive recreational opportunity for residents of Sligo to keep fit and active.
Sligo Local Authorities are working closely with Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership (Deirdre Lavin, Sports Co-ordinator), to promote and develop the use of the Fitness Trail. Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership are continuing their excellent series of free workshops which commenced in September 2011. The workshops use a fully qualified instructor showing people how to use the equipment safely and correctly and helping adults of all abilities to get the most of the local outdoors for free.
The development of recreational facilities including the grass pitch and Multi Use Games area at Doorly Park have previously been supported by Sports Capital funding.
This project was delivered by Sligo Borough Council’s Park’s Department under the leadership of Micheal Condron, with on going support from Sligo Borough Council and Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership.
Other facilities on the site include:
• A natural grass sand carpet playing pitch
• A large children’s playground
• A children’s technology play zone
• Climbing units and activity zone
• High quality ornamental display gardens
• Extensive off road cycleway’s and walkways
• SAC woodlands of international importance
• Floating pontoon, rowing and canoeing facilities