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Outdoor fitness courts, public art installations coming to Huntsville

Published: Jan. 29, 2022 at 8:27 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The City of Huntsville has joined a national campaign to make our community a healthier place. On Friday, leaders announced four outdoor fitness courts are coming to Rocket City in 2022.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama has partnered with the National Fitness Campaign (NFC) to launch these gyms across the state. Trent Matthias, executive director of National Fitness Campaign said the goal is to build ten fitness courts in Alabama cities within the next year. $500,000 in grant funding is available.

“The work we are doing, the funding we are bringing in is really going to change the infrastructure in all of our communities and give everybody the chance to get outside and move,” Matthias said.

City leaders approved a resolution Thursday to install these courts at four booming locations: Apollo Park, John Hunt Park, Legacy Park and California Street Park.

The courts will also serve as public art installations. Two of the fitness courts will feature vinyl appliqués of limited-edition artwork by late renowned artists Jean-Michel Basquiat (Apollo Park) and Keith Haring (John Hunt Park). Local artists will have a chance to compete for space on the remaining two structures through the Huntsville Public Art Program.

City Administrator John Hamilton said the fitness courts are a win-win for the Huntsville community. Hamilton expects Huntsville’s first court will be ready to install at John Hunt Park by fall 2022.

According to Matthias, the outdoor courts are designed by fitness experts and meant for anybody wanting to get in a quick, fun bodyweight workout! You even get to download an app on your phone that walks you through a powerful 7 minute workout program.

“It’s got a functional training envelope. So seven functional training zones,” Matthias said. “Supports people at every age and ability level. We want to get people moving, that’s what the campaign is all about. You don’t need a gym membership. You can just find the nearest fitness court and the vision is really, preventive medicine by supporting folks with daily movement practices.”

Dothan, Alabama is a leading site partner in the National Fitness Campaign. It was the first city in our state to get an outdoor fitness court. Mobile is also a partner of the campaign.

“Our site partners include tons of different organizations, lots of municipalities, lots of schools,” Matthias said. “We want people to know about the campaign and know that there is funding available and that communities can apply to join!”

Communities can apply for funding at: https://nationalfitnesscampaign.com/alabama.

You can also check out a video on the NFC’s website to learn more about the campaign: https://nationalfitnesscampaign.com/watch.

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