Park for seniors to enjoy

The seniors exercise park at Barry Road has been recognised for its innovation. (Supplied)

Michaela Meade

A custom-built seniors exercise park in Thomastown has been recognised for its innovation and inclusivity.

Whittlesea council’s ENJOY project, done in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute and Wyndham council, won the research award at Parks & Leisure Australia’s recent Victorian Awards for Excellence.

The ENJOY project aims to encourage older residents to be physically active by creating accessible space with specialised outdoor exercise and agility equipment.

Whittlesea chair administrator Lydia Wilson said the Barry Road park in Thomastown highlighted the council’s commitment to ensuring access to age-appropriate outdoor spaces for residents of all age groups.

“With over 30,000 residents aged over 60 living in the City of Whittlesea, council is focused on creating liveable neighbourhoods for people of all ages and abilities,” Ms Wilson said.

“Council is excited to deliver innovative parks and open spaces that support our residents to age well and boost their health and wellbeing.”

The park has been in use for 12 weeks, with council reporting participants experiencing a reduced fear of falls and feelings of loneliness, and improved physical function and wellbeing.

The park has a balance beam, core twister and hip spring, and is designed to improve seniors’ physical health and provide intergenerational play opportunities with the adjacent junior playground.